Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Too little, too late

by Frank Schnittger Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 12:12:10 AM EST

Over two and a half years after the referendum Theresa May has finally decided to reach across the aisle and try to build a national consensus around her Brexit deal. She has begun talking to Labour MPs who have been saying for months they might support her deal provided they receive assurances on workers rights and permanent access to a customs union. She has even spoken to a couple of leading trade unionists she has never bothered to meet in all of her political career. Downing Street had to call the Union call centre to get the General Secretary's contact details...

It is a last desperate maneuver, undertaken only because the DUP has rejected her latest attempts to get them on board. With the DUP it is always a case of "what part of NO do you not understand?" It is the end-game of her strategy, first announced in her Lancaster house "red lines" speech, to secure a parliamentary majority by appeasing her the hard core right wing Tory Brexiteers and the DUP - all the while claiming to be uniting the nation around her.

She is also beginning to lose control of the whole Brexit process with an increasingly assertive parliament demanding that she announce her Plan B within three days of losing the vote on her Brexit deal next week. Tories are incensed that Speaker John Bercow allowed amendments tying the hands of the government. But what do you expect when you don't have a written constitution and precedents are there to be set? His job is to assert parliamentary sovereignty, not protect the government.

So what are her options for a Plan B?


  1. Ask the EU to renegotiate the deal. What part of NO does she not understand?
  2. Play for time, and make concessions on other matters in the hope that sufficient opposition MPs will be spooked by a no deal Brexit to vote for her deal as the 29th. March approaches.
  3. Ask the House of Commons to vote on a no deal Brexit - in order to demonstrate that her deal is more popular than No deal - in the House of Commons at least. That might take the sting out of a heavy defeat for her deal, but will it help to bring it across the line? Hardly.
  4. Resign, and make way for a Brexiteer who will pursue a no deal Brexit. She looked very tired in her presser with Shinzō Abe.
  5. Negotiate with Corbyn to agree a second referendum. He won't agree unless he has failed to win a vote of no confidence in her government first, and even then they might not be able to agree on the options/wording to be presented to the electorate.

The great danger, from May's point of view, is that she loses the initiative and control of the process altogether. Corbyn's first option has to be to press for a general election. He could offer Tory Remainers a second referendum in exchange for their support in a vote of confidence.

It would be ironic if it were Tory Remainers who finally brought down the Tory government, as it has been the DUP and ERG who have been threatening May's leadership all along. Somehow it always seems ok for the hard right to threaten disloyalty while moderates have to play by the rules.

But do the moderates have the balls? They could expect to be pilloried by the media and assaulted in the street. It's ok to threaten violence if you are right wing.

More likely, Tory Remainers might threaten to support a Labour motion of no confidence unless May gave them a second referendum. She might insist that her deal is one of the options presented. Hard core Brexiteers would insist that a no deal Brexit is another, while Remainers would insist Remain is an option.

Could the electorate cope with the complexity of a three option referendum? Would the electorate be asked to tick just one box, or to enumerate the options 1,2,3 in order of their choice with the least popular option eliminated and those votes redistributed based on the second choice listed on those ballot papers?

On balance, it still seems a second referendum is unlikely to happen, although the probability of it happening could rise substantially if/when May's deal is decisively rejected. If the House of Commons rejects her deal, and also a no deal Brexit, what is the alternative?

Poll
What Plan B will May adopt?
. Ask the EU to renegotiate the deal 22%
. Play for time - until no deal becomes the only other option 61%
. Explicitly vote down the no deal option 0%
. Resign, and make way for a no deal Brexiteer 11%
. Negotiate with Corbyn to agree a second referendum 5%

Votes: 18
Results | Other Polls
Display:
Can you still add a poll to your diary?

My vote is for #2 to play out.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 10:50:47 AM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 11:36:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From an interview in Romania [one of the corrupt EU states on the Eastern frontier], Juncker spoke of giving PM May what she needs to give the Commons assurance on the Irish border so the UK-EU Deal passes.

I didn't find the quote in the media ... yet!

<weak knees!>

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 10:55:17 AM EST
There is a reference to Junker's Bucharest comments in the Guardian

Juncker hints at helping out Theresa May over Brexit deal

But the 'help' remains limited to clarifications on the non-permanent nature of the backstop and not a legally binding interpretation. That will not satisfy the DUP nor the ERG et al.

[Juncker] said: "What we have said very clearly in council and commission, in full harmony, was that there can be no renegotiation, there can be clarification. But that's all we are discussing with Downing Street what these clarifications might amount to, that should not confused with a renegotiation with regards to the backstop. Aside from these remarks I think it would be unwise to go into the ongoing discussions."

There is momentum in the inexorable movement towards the cliff edge.

by oldremainmer48 on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 11:40:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That will not satisfy the DUP nor the ERG et al.

I understand that nothing could possibly satisfy the DUP or the ERG, let alone both.
by Bernard on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 06:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No doubt Juncker et al will say whatever they can to help May get the deal across the line. But I doubt anyone of stature across the EU wants to unpick the legal deal so painstakingly negotiated. The very fact that the EU27 could negotiate such a complex deal with unanimous support among their members is an unlikely triumph, even if it is subsequently not ratified by the UK. It places the EU in a position of strength in any post Brexit discussions that might take place between the EU and the UK..

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 11:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU states have kept one voice in approach towards the negotiations which expresses a lot of confidence in the team lead by Michel Barnier. The opposite partner has from the start shown division and Theresa May's posturing has exacerbated divisiveness by her choice of Party above Country. She has fallen flat on her face and no one is willing to pick her up.

For The Netherlands and Mark Rutte, a no-deal is not an option and he is willing to go further to seek a compromise. Rutte is right-wing and conservative with similar goals as Great Britain under Tories and the U.S. with Republican leadership.

There is a good chance, all parties involved will make a different choice in the last minute before the hammer falls. The hard Brexiteers are willing to sacrifice the nation to get their preferred no-deal.

UK MEP Andrew Duff: Brexit deal could be nudged through with a 'judicious tweak'
Juncker's magic (soy)beans -- Romania fights -- Barnier's reminder | Politico EU |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 01:01:36 PM EST
What can Rutte do to sway the rest of the council, in particular France? A withdrawal agreement requires qualified majority at the council.

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 Jan 12th, 2019 at 09:46:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rutte's allies are the well known anti-Brussels states Hungary, Italy, Denmark, Poland ...

Not aligned with Rutte would be Spain, France and Germany. At some point in Exit timeline states may gamble on which options are left in May's British coalition.

At a crunch moment states will vote for self-interest.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 12:21:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While it is possible to cobble together a blocking minority to block a particular proposed deal, there is no "no deal" proposal to block. It is simply the default outcome of the A.50 process. Mark Rutte is as helpless as everyone else if the UK decides to go down the no deal route.

If May actually came back to Brussels with a Commons vote in her handbag which explicitly said the UK would approve the deal if a precise particular change was made, that would put the EU in a difficult position. For instance, if the "backstop" was time limited, the EU could approve the revised deal even if it meant selling out Ireland.

The EU could argue that a "no deal" scenario would impose a hard border on Ireland anyway, so conceding on that point in exchange for a deal made no material difference. The problem is that May has never come up with a convincing assurance that a particular concession would guarantee UK ratification of the deal, and so the EU has never been put in that difficult position.

What is the point of making concessions when the UK might simply come back looking for more? In the words of Arlene Foster (in relation to Sinn Fein) if you feed a crocodile, they will simply come back looking for more. This is where May's lack of authority, trust, and standing as a leader has undermined the UK negotiating leverage. However that could change if the House of Commons actually approved the deal subject to certain precise conditions.

Does she have the nous to even attempt such a thing? Can the House of Commons now approve the deal under any circumstances?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 01:11:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For instance, if the "backstop" was time limited, the EU could approve the revised deal even if it meant selling out Ireland.

No it couldn't. That's absurd. A time limit on the backstop without any guarantees on final status means either a hard border or a smuggler's paradise. Or, more likely, both.

Remember, there is always the perfectly coherent Final Status outcome (probably the only coherent outcome) of a single customs territory of Ireland. This is entirely achievable, as long as there's a general election before final status.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 04:35:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but the hard border or a smuggler's paradise would only come about after the time limit has expired, whereas under the no deal scenario it would become operational on 29th. March.

The next general election isn't due until 2022, long after any time limits or transition periods currently being contemplated. So the DUP will continue to have a veto "for the foreseeable future".

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 05:31:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good thing that the Tory leadership has been making friends all over Europe over the past couple of years, then.
by Bernard on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 11:54:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She'll play for time thinking Corbyn will bail her out.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 05:16:01 PM EST
Yea, Corbyn really owes her. NOT.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 06:27:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, yes, well, I am still having difficulty getting past scheduling constraints on any of the proposed remedies to avoiding WTO third-country status at 29 March.

  • 21 Jan, Plenary session (Withdrawal) Bill, §wtf vote
  • 22-31 Jan, ANOTHER no-confidence vote
  • 1-28 Feb, General election to all parliamentary seats, yes?
  • 1-13 Mar, Plenary session (Withdrawal) Bill, §wtf vote


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 06:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there is a will, a way will be found. The problem, from day one, has been no clear will or realistic strategy to achieve it.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 07:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which option includes "Create a story that convinces the EU to give an Article 50 extension for, say, a year."
by asdf on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 07:00:42 PM EST
Reply: None. It won't happen. Unless the UK revokes A.50 notification, which I doubt will happen unless as change of government or second referendum authorizes it.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 07:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if you accidentally overlook the perniciousness of EU politicians.
by asdf on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 02:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyway, that is the option I would vote for, regardless of whether it is currently considered "impossible."
by asdf on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 02:30:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have little doubt the EU would agree an A.50 extension by the required unanimous consensus if requested by the UK, and if presented with a clear rationale for doing so - e.g. to enable the UK to hold a general election or second referendum. The extension would therefore likely be in the 1-3 month range to facilitate the above, although there is no reason the Council could not grant a second extension if deemed necessary.

The unanimity requirement becomes problematic if the purpose is merely to enable the UK to re-open and extend negotiations on the current deal. A new government might be extended that privilege if its stated re-negotiation objectives were not incompatible with EU interests - e.g. full membership of the Single Market or Customs Union - although the hostility of some to Corbyn would not be helpful.

If the new government were led by someone like Boris Johnson whose main objective might be to grandstand and shift the blame for a breakdown to the UK the probability of a further A.50 extension approaches zero. It would be ironic if it were the EU27 which finally lost patience with the UK and effectively booted it out by refusing to extend A.50.

Of course until the notice period or any agreed extension thereof expires, the UK retains the agency to revoke the A.50 notification entirely, even if its intention is merely to play for time and re-invoke it some time later. The ECJ ruling (para. 76) that any such revocation must be:

  1. In writing to the Council
  2. In accordance with that members states own constitutional procedures, and
  3. unequivocal and unconditional

Does not include the Advocate General's condition, included in his Opinion and guidance to the Court (para. 170) that any such revocation must be done in good faith and does not involve an abusive practice. Therefore, conceivably the UK could invoke and revoke A.50 ad nauseam just to annoy the rest of the EU. Of course no one would pay any notice to them if they decided to adopt such tactics.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 11:08:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
although the hostility of some to Corbyn would not be helpful.

Goodness me. You think animosity between heads of government would be an obstacle to cutting a deal? If that were the case, nothing would ever get done in the EU.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 04:40:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The concluded Withdrawal Agreement ("May's Deal") establishes a 21 MONTH "transition period".

In that 21 MONTH TRANSITION PERIOD the UK gov't might

  • do nothing
  • negotiate and conclude the precious "future partnership" ETA from third-country status
  • revoke A.50 without prejudice.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 07:13:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, once they're out they can't revoke A50. They can if they extend the A50 period but not after they leave.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 08:30:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
meaning, the stipulated mandatory date of exit, expiry date, or "conclusion" of the WA . The effects of that phrase are context-sensitive, ie. termination of negotiation, termination of a period of time, termination of UK membership in the TEU ("entry into force").

The WA conditionally releases UK from TEU rights, obligations, and (some) liabilities. It does not replace the TEU (with ETA). The WA "concludes" negotiation of procedures for exit, including but limited to disposal of community property and legal obligations. ECJ judgment about WA scope relies on TEU limitations.

The WA alters the mandatory date of exit from 29 March 2019 (de minimis period, A.50 notification minus 24 months) to 31 Dec 2020 (ADDING 21 months to the period), ergo the Council already approved extension of the withdrawal period. The EP has not yet approved, "concluded" or ratified, the WA.

Any requirement by UK to proffer a unique A.50 instrument to alter the statutory terms or A.50 notification period is fallacious. This is an error propagated by some UK politicians or press for speculations hinting that a narrow application of A.50 and ECJ judgment for "time limit" or wtf in order to obtain parliamentary ratification of the WA or PM "concessions" from the EU. This reasoning is as defective as was interpretation of "transition period" or "implementation period" over the prior two years, ostensibly superimposing ETA codification onto the WA.

reference
Opinion
Judgement
[29 - 30 in re: UK ratification]
[40 - in re: objection to serial extension of negotiations]
[51 - 54]: "That maximum period of two years applies unless the European Council decides, unanimously and in agreement with the Member State concerned, to extend it."
[57, 69, 73,75]: "for as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the European Union and that Member State has not entered into force or, if no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period laid down in Article 50(3) TEU, possibly extended in accordance with that provision, has not expired."

 

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 10:40:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
errata:

A.50 notification plus 24 months

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 10:45:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"WA alters the mandatory date of exit from 29 March 2019"

I think you are mistaken. The withdrawal agreement provides for a 21 Month transition or implementation period after Brexit day during which the UK continues to enjoy some of the benefits and obligations of membership but is no longer actually formally a member. It will no longer have representatives in the EP or the Council or have any decision making rights.

Quite separately the European Council might, by unanimous consent, agree to an extension of the A.50 notice period beyond 29th. March but that is not part of the Withdrawal Agreement which only needs to be approved by weighted majority vote on the Council and by the EP.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 11:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A limiting factor is a variable of a system that, if subject to a small change, causes a non-negligible change in an output or other measure of the system.

Per ECJ what is the limiting factor on UK unilaterally revoking A.50 notification?
expiry date of WA

What is the limiting factor on expiry date of WA (dependent variable)
de minimis: A.50 notification date (independent variable) + 24 months (constant variable)
-or, unless, for as long as (conditional tests*)-
de minimis + extension of expiry (independent var) agreed by the parties' heads of state, ie. PM + EU Council

What is the limiting factor on agreement by the parties to (A) WA or (B) revocation of A.50?
ratification of (A) or (B) by the parties' legislatures according to each state's constitutional requirements

:: TRANSITION, ARTICLE 126, Transition period, p196 (14 Nov 2018)

There shall be a transition or implementation period, which shall start on the date of entry into force of this Agreement* and end on 31 December 2020.
* on or before 29 March 2019


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jan 12th, 2019 at 11:46:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Per ECJ what is the limiting factor on UK unilaterally revoking A.50 notification?
expiry date of WA

No. The expiry date is two years after the A.50 notification has been issued, or the date of the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, whichever is the sooner. Both mark the end of the UK's formal membership of the EU, and the end of any possibility of revoking an A.50 notification.

Article 50.3:

3.   The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 12:07:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
conditional statements
"or, unless, for as long as"
testing the WA period (between entry and exit dates)
in which UK retains unilateral power to revoke A.50 action -ELSE- exit TEU as stipulated.

MODEL (not actual) TEU, WA, ECJ instructions

The WA text and ECJ interpretation of TEU ("judgment" quoted in part above) offered UK gov a ridiculous variety of opportunities to correct their own perversity. But I think we agree, Frank: The probability that the withdrawal agreement enters into force (IF signed and ratified) on or before 29 March 2019 per TEU approaches 0.

I have observed, one reason among many given NOT to enter the withdrawal agreement is its duration in force to exit date.

It is TRUE, sabotaging WA entry into force forecloses UK powers while WA is in force.

It is TRUE, UK High Court foreclosed SNP unilateral power to table a revoking bill.

It is FALSE, UK may modify TEU exit date by means or conditions other than WA terms which are not in force. (That is my read. TEU A.50 ends UK agency in EU. Council agreement to supersede would violate conclusion to negotiations, now submitted. UK retained powers pertain to ECJ narrow judgment and application of Vienna.)

UK gov could but will not obtain Art. 126 extension of WA period -THEN- power to revoke A.50 action on or before 31 Dec 2020 .


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 03:24:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More like a switch statement with a default of no-deal Brexit.
by asdf on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 03:57:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that works too, but you know coder conceit boils down to brevity, read my mind.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 09:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"THEN- power to revoke A.50 action on or before 31 Dec 2020 ."

The withdrawal agreement, if ratified, can take effect  BEFORE 29 March, or, at the latest 29th. March - unless the EU Council, in an entirely separate vote - unanimously agree to extend the A.50 notification period.

The Withdrawal agreement ONLY COMES INTO FORCE AFTER the UK has left the EU and no longer has representation or agency within it. It does not extend the UK's membership of the EU, but merely provides the UK with some of the benefits and obligations of membership. The UK can no longer revoke an A.50 notification once the WA has come into force because at that stage it has already left the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 06:57:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nor for a year, no.

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 Jan 12th, 2019 at 09:43:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I voted resign, but what I think is more likely to happen is that she will lose control of the Brexit process to a more assertive Commons. If and when the Commons instructs her to do something she can't or won't, she will call a confidence motion, and lose it. In that case within 14 days the Commons has to vote in a new PM, but it will fail and elections will ensue.

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 Jan 12th, 2019 at 09:22:15 PM EST
The next UK election will be held in 2022 unless:

  1. an early election motion being passed by a super-majority of two-thirds in the House of Commons

  2.  a vote of no confidence in the government which is not followed by a vote of confidence within 14 days

DUP has said they will vote "yes" on confidence motions so May has her majority unless Tory back benchers decide to commit political suicide.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 06:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
May is an outstanding example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.  She won't resign because that would deprive the UK of her brilliance.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 06:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am assuming the Commons will have voted to instruct the government to do something May can't or won't do, so already there will be a Commons majority against May by hypothesis...

The question is not the DUP but whether Tory rebel backbenchers would vote a resolution against the Tory government's wishes, and then vote for May in a confidence motion.

Human preferences are not transitive, as we know, so anything is possible, but...

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 Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 01:22:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One view is that this mess may significantly change the UK system of government.

"...a group of MPs, including former Tory ministers, are reported by the Sunday Times to be working on a way to allow non-government members to take control of the timetable and bring forward legislation making it illegal to leave the EU without a deal, if Mrs May loses Tuesday's vote.
Downing Street has said it is "extremely concerned" about the reported plot, which it says could potentially overturn centuries of Parliamentary precedent.

Currently, the government has precedence in the House of Commons. It controls how and when business, including legislation, is organised.

If MPs can get an amendment to change how and when Commons business is arranged passed by a majority, backbench business could then take precedence over government business.

This could represent a threat not just to Brexit legislation but to the government's ability to govern, says Downing Street.
It would mean that without control over time in the Commons, the government has no control over parliamentary business, so cannot get through policies and legislation easily."

by asdf on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 03:17:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the Tories want to have their cake and eat it. Defeat May's very raison d'être, but keep her on as PM while forcing her to implement ... Something else, but they're not sure what.

Parliamentary precedent doesn't allow it, but as we saw last Week, parliamentary precedent evolves...

A multi-party parliamentary democracy? How very... European.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 04:52:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This provision would give Tory Remainers the opportunity to vote no confidence in the government, and then vote confidence again within 14 days if the government agreed to a second referendum.

Theresa May would then be presented with a clear choice - agree a second referendum or fight a general election - a general election in which Corbyn might well campaign on the basis of a second referendum (on a Labour negotiated Brexit deal) as a means of keeping both Leavers and Remainers united behind his party.

Either way a second referendum then becomes likely. But do Tory Remianers have the balls to vote no confidence?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 07:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But do Tory Remainers have the balls to vote no confidence?

No. (Well-informed) turkeys don't vote for Christmas.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 07:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It all depends on how many of them are in safe seats. Current polls don't show a massive swing away from the Tories in any case. The main risk would be a risk of de-selection by their local constituency Tories and would depend on the make-up of the local party and their relationship with it. If it is a snap poll there may not be time for de-selection to occur in any case. Most Remainers have lost ministerial office by this stage anyway, so most have little to lose.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 08:16:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like to contribute, but right now things are so confused and in the air that all I can see is smoke and dust. I have no clue what happpens next.

This morning the Telegraph is talking of the possibility of the party splitting apart, the very eventuality the whole process was intended to prevent. It is true that the process has revealed the incompatibility between the viewpoints of the brexit ultras and the business-firsters. Up until now they have hung together under the Blue Flag of electoral convenience, being stronger together so long as they don't stamp over each other too much.

But even on this point it is unknowable. Neither the moderates nor the ultras have distinguished themselves in the process as having the courage of their convictions to risk the wilderness by voting against the party when things have become difficult and risked an election. I doubt they will gain a spine now.

But this split is across the electorate now. Leavers and Remainers are split asunder and this will have major electoral impacts. It's why the Labour party under Corbyn have been so careful to avoid having a position whilst in opposition; they hoped brexit would have happened under the Tories and they could then present themselves at an election as honest brokers who never betrayed their electorate.

But if corbyn forces an election before the process is complete, then Labour's constituency will shatter, just as the Tory's has.

The country has become like the USA, ungovernable from the top down. At least two utterly irreconcilable views have torn the country apart and nobody can predict where the pieces fall. Politics is changed and we cannot reset.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 05:55:33 PM EST
I'm not so sure about "The country has become like the USA." We have two parties, and each has pretty good internal solidarity. We don't have any particularly major issue that splits the parties.

The UK has two parties, neither of which is aligned on one or the other side of the main political issue. It is almost four parties, with the combinations of Labour/Conservative * Brexit/Remain."

by asdf on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 12:50:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the US party that does not believe in government now has only about 30% of the registered voters. With a presentable, if not charismatic, leader and an agenda that actually has popular appeal the other party should win handily, especially given what will be coming out in the next four weeks. While Trump's base will cry 'we wuz stabbed in the back!' 6o% of the electorate will either not give a damn or be greatly relieved. Then our national fit of madness will be over - for a while.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 05:46:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's essentially my take these days. Could be wrong of course. What's already come out should be damning. The rest of the Mueller investigation, the outcome of the government shutdown (entirely Individual-1 inflicted), and any other investigations should finally be sufficient to break the fever in the US, albeit temporarily. Let's hope that once we do get a fever break, we get enough time to undo as much of the damage as possible.

"There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility." -- Lisbeth Salander
by Don Durito on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 06:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you new here, Don Durito? Welcome!

And what about them Justice Democrats / Green New Deal and whatnot? I was enthusiastic about them just out of principle, but are they actually demonstrating that a renewal of US democracy?

They are smart, they are lucid, and they are ... so far... uncontrollable. Ocasio Cortez certainly appears to scare the crap out of the Democratic establishment, so it will be interesting to observe how, and how successfully, they will try to crush them.

It will come down to campaign finance... Can the modern US variant of democracy be successfully crowd-funded?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 09:01:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US system (where you need to get an absolute majority in the Electoral College to win the presidential and VP elections) is set up to very strongly favor a two party system. That was not the original intention; there was an unrealistic hope that a party system would not develop. That lasted for about a decade.

In any case, it is virtually impossible to get a third party off the ground. Most politicians figure this out and work to steer one of the two major parties in their preferred direction. There are a few outliers, but they are all weird special cases.

by asdf on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 03:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My assumption, indeed, is that the only hope for democracy in the US lies with the Democrats.

And yes, I'm aware that it's a long shot.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:05:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
one party state then?
ho. ho. ho.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 05:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Representative Government In The Ancient Polities

Democracy is fine, but not every citizen should have a vote. Individuals need to meet a standard for "True Democracy" as in ancient Greece with the Senate of Rome. One has the elites [later the nobility] who should run the nation, all others are dispensable as in slavery or later ownership in Medieval times of serfdom and serfs.  Sovereignty in leadership cannot be entrusted to the lesser in wealth and knowledge.

The Founding Fathers and the Electoral College

    Robert W. Bennett, author of Taming the Electoral College and a law professor at Northwestern University, notes that neither women nor white men without property could vote at the time, either--meaning that slavery was not the only factor that made the allocation of the Electoral College out of sync with reality. "A relatively small number of people actually had the right to vote."

As the voting rights expanded, the states of the Union found other means to block its citizens from participating in the elections. I have realized later on, the U.S. is just a poor democracy and undoubtedly reaps the harm/ills from such a policy.

Third parties are blocked not by the form of an Electoral College, but by indirect representation of the winner takes all. Same situation in the UK with districts and plurality voting. Some nations have party-list proportional representation as in The Netherlands where coalition forming and compromise have become an art.

Electoral Systems by Country

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:14:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Elites? Johnson, Reese-Mogg and all the rest? Are you sure?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:43:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Over the past 200+ years there has been in the US a gradual migration from the original republic towards democracy. Voting rights have been extended to those without the appropriate religion, property, race, gender, or age, and the process for choosing senators has been changed, as has the primary system, etc. The original goal of avoiding mob rule has been largely removed from the system.
by asdf on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 05:51:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The salient point is that US Constitution prescribes an Elector College only for election of POTUS.

The US Constitution does NOT

  • limit the number of House representatives, instead prescribes representation proportionate to population; the limit was established by Congress in USC and could be repealed at any time;
  • prescribe representation by "district";
  • proscribe the number of political factions in Congress;
  • proscribe any other election process; or
  • proscribe allocation of electors between or among political factions.

IdioSavant's comment about the helplessness of the polity and proportional representation in the USA is incorrect.

Limits to unqualified enfranchisement ("direct democracy") in the USA are the result of the stunted imaginations of eligible voters, possibly illiteracy, and craven federal and states' legislative acts, elected by the cretins that the polity elects to do so, over and over again (because "institutional knowledge", incumbency), including Secretary of State in each (if not APPOINTED) whose executive function is to fulfill demands of the partisan corporations who dominate a legislature and qualify voters' rights AND candidatures in that state.

A third party could be had IF voters "thought" that candidate could WIN!!!


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 06:04:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was talking about the UK, not the USA. And obviously, the UK has a far freeer hand in changing its electoral system than the US: all they have to do is overcome a self-interested establishment seeking to preserve its own power, rather than that plus some archaic rules designed to produce constitutional stasis.
by IdiotSavant on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 08:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
my mistake

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 11:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another way of looking at the post vote options (per Bloomberg email)



Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 10:47:01 AM EST
After some through I've come up with a more realistic version of that:

Predicting what happens in the middle seems like a game for fools.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 11:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought. Not though. (Why are people worried about AI when autocorrect does that sort of nonsense?)
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 11:46:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm slightly worried about AI since people are trying to have it drive cars.
by generic on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 12:19:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm looking forward to handing over government of the planet to a benevolent AI that is much cleverer than human politicians.

Probably something with the IQ of a FitBit.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 12:33:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 11:06:18 AM EST
it's kinda worryiing that the combined probably of those events is 160%

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 03:30:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're not independent so it doesn't have to.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2019 at 03:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 01:33:25 AM EST
I don't see the option of most likely result, which is "We all die in a fire"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 02:18:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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 Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 08:31:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 08:35:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Route ahead unclear." Duh.
by asdf on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 02:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But! "Brexit delayed".

That's the nearest thing to a positive outcome on the chart.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 03:16:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be hilarious if May's Deal ended up passing due to a huge number of abstentions.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 05:51:37 PM EST
As expected, May's deal was dismissed by the Commons, and by a crushing majority, 432 against, 202 for.

Corbyn has tabled a motion of no confidence and he:

says the government should accept that the UK will stay in the customs union for good, that a no-deal Brexit is not an option and that the rights of EU nationals will be accepted.

Guardian

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 07:58:54 PM EST
or just give up on the whole thing cos the tories botched it from the start

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 08:10:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He may well lose the confidence vote.

In which case someone should remind him a new referendum becomes official labour policy.

Yvette Cooper (Lab) has already asked the speaker how A50 could be extended. I think we can assume she knows, so the question was for public consumption only.

Bottom line is that if there's a motion to extend A50 it's very likely to pass - maybe not conclusively, but certainly as a means of avoiding No Deal.

We could then be in the interesting position of May clinging on to power, but being forced to cancel Brexit because of a referendum she didn't want.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 08:20:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By extending May risks the Tory Party splitting which was the whole point of the Brexit thing in the first.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 09:23:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. And that would be terrible, wouldn't it?

Absolutely terrible. Dear oh dear.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 09:54:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can hear the sorrow in your voice from here.

:-)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 03:55:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I posted yesterday ... no light at the end of the tunnel.

With such a major defeat, PM Theresa May has lost all legitimacy as a leader of Great Britain. She can place a call to Brussels, no one will pick up the phone.

London is left in chaos.

PM May will survive the no confidence vote because the Tories want to remain [yes!]  in power. Anything but Corbyn ...

PM Theresa May must stand down. The EU will not renegotiate with anyone without a clear mandate from UK Parliament. None is forthcoming. Time HAS run out, to delay the March 29 deadline is pointless. It's done, it's over.

Too bad no one in Westminster realizes what has just passed. Truly, the British live isolated on an island. A failed integration within mainland Europe.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Jan 15th, 2019 at 08:12:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, too little... Factually wrong. Crumbs, big ones, were thrown aplenty, going back to Thatcher, Cameron and now May. (btw what's the commission got to do with?) Best stay on the austerity beat, Paul.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 12:09:15 AM EST
the whole keeping out foreigners is such a red herring. Most EU states retained the right that any immigrant from another country has to be coming to a particular job and is not immediately eligable for benefits. The UK govts, searching for cheap labour to under cut UK laour unions, deliberately set that aside. The resentments engendered, even if massively exaggerated by media hype, was inevitable.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 03:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kegstand bollocksing the political facts of a scenario?  Unglaublich!
by rifek on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 at 11:46:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries

UK election thread

by fjallstrom - Dec 12
64 comments

It's Tory Austerity Stupid!

by Oui - Dec 9
64 comments

Leave UK <dot> DT

by Oui - Dec 4
71 comments