Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 21, 2019

How Theresa May Botched Brexit

Those were the times ...


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The Times page 1 is of January 18, 2017. Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union about Brexit were just beginning. The "you'll be crushed" arrogance in the headline characterizes the attitude the British government under May demonstrated during the talks.

Recently that attitude has somewhat changed. This screenshot was taken about an hour ago:


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The BBC writes:

Theresa May has said she "sincerely hopes" the UK will leave the EU with a deal and she is still "working on" ensuring Parliament's agreement.

Arriving in Brussels, she said that she had "personal regret" over her request to delay Brexit, but said it will allow time for MPs to make a "final choice".

At the EU summit the PM spoke to the other 27 leaders to try to get their backing for a delay beyond 29 March.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn said his talks in Brussels were "very constructive".

BBC Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming said Mrs May spoke to EU leaders for 90 minutes and was asked several times what her contingency plans were if she lost the third "meaningful vote" on her deal in Parliament.

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that if MPs vote down Mrs May's EU withdrawal agreement next week, the UK will leave without a deal.

May asked the EU to move the hard coded March 29 Brexit date to June 30. She may be given May 23, the day of EU elections, as a compromise but only if her deal passes the British parliament.

A no-deal crash out on March 29 would create utter chaos for months. It would be catastrophic for Britain's economy.

May's withdrawal agreement was already voted down twice. If it comes to a third vote in parliament it is very likely to fail again.

Yves Smith, who you should all read, opens her Brexit sit rep today with this:

We’ve been more pessimistic than most commentators about the likelihood of the UK escaping the default of a no-deal Brexit. We may not have been pessimistic enough.

There is still the possibility that May takes a 180 degree turn, but that would be the end of her career and likely also the end of the Conservative Party:

Now there is a popular push for an Article 50 revocation, with a petition already at over 400,000 signatures as of this hour. But as we’ll discuss, May would have to do a complete reversal to revoke Article 50, which is within her power, not just a Prime Minister, but also implementing the motion by Parliament rejecting a no-deal Brexit.

Article 50 is the part of the British withdrawal law that governs the Brexit process. If May revokes it, there is little chance that another Brexit attempt will ever be made. The majority that voted to leave the EU will have been betrayed.

An analysis by the BBC Europe editor says that the "Leaders want to avoid no-deal Brexit":

[W]hile EU leaders have ruled out re-opening the Brexit withdrawal agreement and the "backstop" text, you can bet they'll discuss a longer Brexit delay at their summit today.

This is, in my view, a misjudgment.

Yes, under normal circumstances and with a competent and trustworthy negotiation partner on the British side, ways would be found to fudge the issue and to avoid a Brexit in all but its name. That is why I predicted long ago that Brexit was not gonna happen.

But May has really done everything to affront the other side of the table. She did not stick to commitments she had given, delivered papers too late to properly discuss them, and came to emergency summits called on her behalf without anything new to offer.

Matthew Parris, a conservative political commentator in London who originally favored May, now remarks of her:

"She is mean. She is rude. She is cruel. She is stupid. I have heard that from almost everyone who has dealt with her," Parris says. He said he had never expected this much hatred, "and that is not a word I use lightly."

The leaders of other EU countries also have had it with here. The voters on the continent do not care about Britain. There will be no punishment for Merkel or Macron for letting Britain crash out.

The EU will survive without the United Kingdom. With a no-deal Brexit the United Kingdom is likely to fall apart. Within a few years North Ireland would join the Irish Republic, peacefully one hopes, and Scotland would vote to leave.

A bit of hope may still rest in this one line in the BBC report which it leaves unexplained:

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn said his talks in Brussels were "very constructive".

Is there a EU deal being made with the opposition leader and behind Theresa May's back?

Given that she is the Prime Minister how would that work out?

Posted by b on March 21, 2019 at 18:57 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

"Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum" has a Wikipedia article, I tried to compare with "American interference in XXX", but Wikipedia does not have an article matching the first two words.

Anyone here knows something about it? Like, now, that the facts are in the open, aren't Tories ashamed of making Putin happy? I mean, is there anything in in but some rancid slop?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 22 2019 15:40 utc | 101

i like the Y2K analogy here that russ offered... i think that really fits...

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2019 15:44 utc | 102

Hi James. I agree that there are some passing similarities with the Y2K kerfuffle, but unfortunately I am seeing real-world issues arising from this mess in my industry. Moreover these issues are being replicated across the various subsectors within medicine and medical research. Yes many are fairly minor and easily dealt with, but others are significantly more serious with a range of implications that are likely to be negative and damaging to the UK, at least in the near term. Long term solutions will be found of course.

I am strongly biased towards remain, so I guess my views need to be taken with a pinch of salt given my affinity to one faction in this debate. Apologies in advance for not being more objective.

Posted by: Glossopteris | Mar 22 2019 16:20 utc | 103

Really surprised that so many comments here are pro- Brexit (disclaimer - I did not read them all). You commenters are badly out of touch. It is quite clear that the original vote was fraudulent and based on lies, and quite clear that the majority of the British are now opposed to Brexit. It is also quite clear that any idea that Britain could dictate it's terms to the world is deluded nonsense. Very few countries in the world are sovereign today, and those few have been brought to their knees by sanctions. The US does not do equals, and without the protection of EU the UK economy will rapidly plummet down from number 5 to who knows where. There is no reply to those people who refer to an 800 year history of self government except to laugh.

Posted by: Tim Glover | Mar 22 2019 16:20 utc | 104

The entire concept of a 'Brexit' has been sabotaged from both sides. From the Tories, who never wanted it, to the EU, who made it as difficult as possible.

My advice will be to do a hard Brexit, and simply revert to WTO rules. Which will require a bunch of bureaucrats to actually do some work... and organise some new trade rules.

But that's too hard for them, can't be bothered to do a decent job. Soft as...

Posted by: Ant., | Mar 22 2019 16:37 utc | 105

My thanks to karlof1 for his link to the George Galloway interview from back when this all started. Oh, how refreshing to see a cheerful face! Were I a Brit I'd be clamoring for George to become PM -- at the same time, he was so positive this would all soon be over, even he not realizing how nastily incomprehensible it would all get with the current PM pulling out all the stops on her out of tune organ, while at the same time the EU folk don't mind extending and embellishing her madly discordant tune.

I never liked organ music in the best of times, (maybe a fugue or two works, or bits of it in Bach's choral pieces) but that was a delightful bit from Mr Galloway and indeed it simply highlights the torture that has been the Brexit charage from the getgo even for an outsider like me who has been conscientiously following the Yves narrative just as I did when 'Oxit' was given/ NOT given to the poor Greeks.

Ah, you poor Brits (I am half one) - you didn't realize that after the Inferno comes Purgatory!! Hang on, hang on - it can't be much longer yet.

And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
[End of T.S.Eliot's 'Four Quartets']

Posted by: juliania | Mar 22 2019 16:40 utc | 106

I'm actually not sure what word got mangled into 'charage' there, but hey, it works! Gonna leave it.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 22 2019 16:42 utc | 107

I see nobody has taken the time to discuss John Doe's citation @70, for which a summary Sputnilk published today. Its introductory remarks:

"While the potential economic destabilisation for the UK and EU wrought by a Brexit of any kind, including a no-deal one, has been the subject of debate since the 2016 referendum, a new study paints a rather dark picture of what to expect.

"A no-deal Brexit will cause significant damage to the economies of European Union nations, while countries such as the USA, Russia and China may actually benefit, according to a new study by the German Bertelsmann Foundation.

"The paper makes the grim economic forecast that the UK alone will be afflicted by losses of €57 billion per year if it crashes out of the EU without a deal, while the rest of the bloc will lose about €40 billion — a great deal of which would be shouldered by Europe's largest economy and chief exporter to the UK — Germany."

A link to the paper is furnished by John Doe @70 and at the linked article. And 3 other essays on the topic are also linked there.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2019 16:52 utc | 108

b asks:

Is there a EU deal being made with the opposition leader and behind Theresa May's back?

> No. Corbyn has been very distant, very hands off, sometimes contradictory, and imho he has made no reasonable, or interesting, they might be whacky, proposals re. Brexit, with *committed* gusto. I. e. articulating some kind of position, even if it means a sacrifice - for him, his mates, the Labour party, the voters, etc.

For ex. He was at some point accepting of a second referendum. Complete BS, distraction. No time to organise it - etc. Also, taking into account that the first ref. was v. strange: a political ploy by Dodgy Dave just advisory, which then became something someone promised to respect and was … subsequently set in stone!

Who could guarantee that? Cameron, May, Prince Charles? Individual pols can’t make promises like that. They can swear, I will do my best to support / see through, etc. X. Not more. Once they quit or die the promise dies with them, and moreover with rapid situation change (> the facing party, EU) such a promise makes no sense.

So repeating this dodgy referendum pitfall - presumably with the aim of reversing the previous result, with REMAIN winning, not very likely (the polls are close but are rubbish) is complete madness. It is the stuff of alternative realities in dark committee rooms, or seeking to fool the populace (bad.)

Corbyn has nothing to propose. If he had, he would have done so! His lack of action is a result of, imho, seeking Party Unity, or at least not destroying that which exists. A call too tough, as the Labor party is (elected members, local potentates, supporters, voters, etc.) a motley crew:

Third-Wayers (yikes! pro-EU, see T. Blair) - middle class and young ‘remainers’, who love Europe, Erasmus, free travel, some solidarity, ‘socialism’, etc. - remainers who have mixed families - biz interests - etc.. Then there are the Leavers, the trad. working base of the Labor Party who have been shafted since Thatcher, have suffered greatly from austerity, de-industr., privatization, neglect, being demeaned, etc.

Conciliating, gathering, these groups under one umbrella is impossible, so Corbyn is paralyzed.

Brexit has split both the main parties in 2 at least, 3 or more factions - showing that the present functioning of the UK political system has to hit the dust before a way forward can be found.

May is in a similar position. One side, the ERG (disaster capitalists, profiteering gangsters and traitors, say, destroy! profit!), on another Tory Remain (biz interest, Finance, London City, some Big Corps, etc.) Inbetween, ‘some compromise deal must be found’ - but how? ..?

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 22 2019 16:54 utc | 109

Noirette @110--

You seem to have missed my very early comment about Corbyn having met with EU leaders yesterday to outline Labour's plan of action, which is to say Corbyn's certainly not keeping his "hands off."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2019 17:14 utc | 110

yes i missed that.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 22 2019 17:23 utc | 111

@104 Glossopteris.. that is quite the name! thanks for your comments.. i tend to see it as the msm creating a real lather of fear around brexit and i always tend to view the msm as carrying water for corporations.. i could be wrong... is our life to be guided by business deals 24/7, or is there something more to it? if no coca cola gets thru to the uk, will the uk still survive? i think it will do fine, but as it appears it is in the interest of the corps to continue to dominate with all their trade agreements - i suspect the fix is in.. this is why theresa may has sat on her hands generating more fear and loathing..

@107 juliania... are we in some chapter of dante's inferno here? lol! i think that goes for the whole planet at present..

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2019 18:24 utc | 112

Sputnik has just published "Brexit for Dummies: What Would a No Deal Really Look Like to Average Briton?" It seeks to answer the question posed by Deltaeus @17:

"Why is the following quote true?

"A no-deal crash out on March 29 would create utter chaos for months. It would be catastrophic for Britain's economy."

Sputnik phrases the question thusly:

"But what is so terrible about a no deal Brexit and why are so many MPs so keen to avoid it?"

Answers to some questions related to some sectors are simple as they aren't dependent on who holds the majority in Parliament whereas others are quite dependent upon that issue. Meanwhile, UK's BigLie Media's busily promoting the Remain Petition being pushed by the unsavory coalition of Blair and Soros in hopes of having another vote on the issue, which is likely why the EU granted the extension.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2019 18:57 utc | 113

@114 karlof1

From that article-

"Mr. Martin said the EU Arrest Warrant would also no longer work in the event of a no-deal Brexit."

So no more stitch-ups of those unpopular to the Political Class like Assange, or as Dear Winston put it an end to-

"The power of the Executive to cast a man in prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government, whether Nazi or Communist."

Posted by: TJ | Mar 22 2019 19:13 utc | 114

Corbyn elaborates on his talks yesterday with EU officials, explaining some of Labour's proposals, which he refrained from earlier. The vid's @50 seconds long, so it won't take up too much of anyone's time to view.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2019 19:31 utc | 115

Dunno that I could agree with all the comments here. Doesn't matter. Emily @ 2 has said all I feel about it and better.

Two points that are not peripheral.

1. The main thing about Northern Ireland is to stop the Troubles returning. All else is secondary to that.

2. The Northern Irish, all of them, are British citizens. Some don't want to be. Some wish to remain so. To sell them out to get Brexit would be wrong. It would be dishonourable. That is why Mrs May's deal should not be accepted.

Yes, I know there's a circle there to be squared. I don't live there so I don't pretend to know the correct solution. What I do know, because I know some of Ireland well, is that there's no correct solution coming from Mr Varadkar, Mrs May, or Mr Barnier.

Posted by: English Outsider | Mar 22 2019 20:14 utc | 116

The EU is a fledgling pharaonic state. It's a centrally planned undemocratic tyranny, like the old Soviet Union but without even the pretense of caring about the average worker. Just ask the Greeks.

Sure sounds to me like May is 'taking a dive' - that is, she is deliberately sabotaging Brexit. I mean, in any negotiation if you don't have any alternatives your bargaining power is minimal. Look at how, in all this time, the UK has done virtually no planning or preparation for a no-deal Brexit. Surely plans of that sort, even if never used, could have been a strong bargaining chip: 'we are not that desperate we do have options now let's deal.' But no, all such planning has been blocked. I'm also hearing credible reports that much of the current 'deals' were drafted by EU administrators themselves with minimal input from the UK side....

The EU is like a roach motel: you can check in but you can't check out. One way or the other the elites will find a way to block or sabotage Brexit.

Posted by: TG | Mar 22 2019 20:55 utc | 117

Posted by: berti | Mar 22, 2019 11:36:15 AM | 101

Unemployment rate is 3.2 in Germany.
It has got something to do with Germany's outsized balance of trade and Germany's pressure on ECB not to devalue the Euro.

I doubt that leaving the EU (Euro) would solve anything. France could invest the net contribution spent on the EU within France but would lose easy access to the EU market.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 22 2019 21:36 utc | 118

Addendum.

"b" - I've been permitted to post the EU National Anthem on an English website. It cheers up the "remainers" there. Don't know if that's allowed here. Hope so. For a National Anthem the tune's quite catchy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqPtz5qN7HM

Posted by: English Outsider | Mar 22 2019 22:08 utc | 119

somebody @119

Actually the Euro is quite undervalued, which is part of the reason for Germany's econ. 'success' (if you can call it a success to create huge imbalances and crises in other European countries).

Being in the Euro means very low interest rates, no exchange rate uncertainty and little if any currency speculation. Any country which leaves would be fair game for financial markets, not to mention losing out on trade and huge conflicts with other states over devalued debts.

Posted by: smuks | Mar 22 2019 23:35 utc | 120

Pete Townshend
'The euros are mafia thugs'

Say Who ?

The mafia don calling its sidekicks 'thugs' !

hehehhe

Posted by: denk | Mar 23 2019 4:39 utc | 121

@105 Evidence?

Remain was predicted to win in the morning of the referendum. 55/45% and we know the real results a few hours later.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-poll-brexit-remain-vote-leave-live-latest-who-will-win-results-populus-a7097261.html

Maybe the pro-brexit posts should make you reconsider your position?

Both sides lied BTW. The media were awful, choosing to focus on the rutting of pathetic stags Gove and Johnson, whilst ignoring Corbyn like sulking children. There was absolutely nothing about Euratom, Open Skies or any other agreement/arrangement. Personally, I went to the library, and used the internet.

What's your knowledge of Walter Hallstein?

Posted by: Some Random Passer-by | Mar 23 2019 5:10 utc | 122

If Brexit is revoked EU “democracy” will finally be revealed as the contradiction in terms that it is. The political left has made a massive blunder by hitching its wagon to open borders and a system designed to uphold neoliberal hegemony at all costs. Identity politics, as manifestated in the ubiquitous virtue signaling and public shaming rituals on Twitter and in the MSM, have been expertly wielded by liberals to psychologically bludgeon and divide the left, leaving it hamstrung and driven to supporting illogical and counterintuitive positions.

The message many leftists have unwittingly been duped into internalizing goes something like this: If you are _not_ a white supremacist who supports crypto fascist ethnic nationalists, deporting refugees and caging children you _must_ be in favour of open borders, the EU and globalization. If your goal is replacing capitalism with an alternative economic and social system based on the insights of Karl Marx and actually existing history, this makes absolutely no sense. Liberal status quo upholders have brilliantly signal boosted virtue signaling rituals extolling ones dedication to “diversity”, refugees, people of “colour” and other empty phrases, and gullible leftists were easily shamed into accepting this self-defeating herd mentality. (One must also regularly pepper ones writing and speech with ritual denounciations of “white” males, *phobes, patriarchy, fascists etc. etc.) Because this kind of nonsense has massive appeal to normal, ordinary people who don’t live on Twitter and spend their free time dissecting “theories” that have little practical relevance in their lives. Good Christ...

Anyway back to the EU/open borders. It is a fact that the things the left, as opposed to liberals, says it wants need to be enforced and guaranteed by a central government. National governments get their authority from, wait for it, sovereign nation states. Weak nation states = weak and emasculated national governments. This is why the whole neoliberal project is based on pushing globalization and disempowering the nation state. The left knew this in the late-1990s and early 2000s when there were mass demonstrations against globalization. (“Globalism” is just globalization repackaged for a right-wing audience.)

But the revolutionary left lost its bearings in the early 2000s and was largely subsumed by liberals preaching open borders (i.e. global capitalism) and empty rhetoric about multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance. Fast forward to 2019 and we find the co-opted and demoralized left promoting a mish mash of contradictory and illogical positions and obsessed with protecting sacred cows like the EU and the concept of open borders not because it makes political sense, but because “it’s the right thing to do and only fascists think otherwise.”

Any person who believes in democracy must in principle support the honouring of the Brexit referendum even if they voted against leaving the EU. If the EU and pro-Remainers conspire to void the people’s choice how will the left, which considers itself pro-democracy, react? If it goes along with such a sabotage it sinks whatever credibility it has, er, left. Such a move by anti-Brexit interests would also signal the end of democracy and the official beginning of the post-democratic era.

Things are about to get very very very interesting indeed.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 23 2019 5:32 utc | 123

Re: Posted by: Noirette | Mar 22, 2019 12:54:28 PM | 110

You've read Corbyn completely wrong.

Corbyn is not "paralysed" at all.

Corbyn wants Brexit but Corbyn doesn't want anything to do with it. No ownership over what happens at all. Corbyn wants to be able to blame the incompetent Theresa May and her Tory Government for absolutely anything that goes wrong with Brexit as then he can swoop in and have a mandate to fix things exactly the way he wants.

Posted by: Julian | Mar 23 2019 8:04 utc | 124

"She is mean. She is rude. She is cruel. She is stupid...." - Theresa May is all these but, more importantly, she is vainglorious, as all Tories who reach the pinnacle of their party at the helm of the government become. She will also put that party BEFORE the UK!

As to Daniel @100. The term 'British' is on the way out. I haven't considered myself 'British' for several years now. Personally, I can't wait for the whole disunited Kingdom to fall asunder. Which it will, once we Scots gain independence. Do not mock or guffaw; it's just a matter of time now before that happens. After that, it will 'Goodbye, Norn Irn' and hello to a reunited Ireland. Then it will just be Wale and Little England, all alone against the world.

Bring it on!

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | Mar 23 2019 8:51 utc | 125

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 22, 2019 12:54:28 PM | 110

You also seem to have missed that the Trade Union Congress (who controls Labour) AND the Conderation of British Industry (Employers) came out against no deal demanding plan B.

May (and Brexiteers) seem to have united most of the country against them.

You also forget that the referendum was decided by people not voting. You can be sure they will vote this time.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 23 2019 10:03 utc | 126

The problem with any referendum of course is what people will be given to vote on.

As I understand it, Corbyn favours a customs union plus. He will not get the plus from the EU

The core issue for Corbyn and Brexiteers (their voters) is the free movement of people.

The EU will not agree to this. The EU will not agree to anything that has the dynamite to split its periphery. Corbyn would have the same problem as Theresa May, getting a compromise with the EU he cannot get through parliament.

So Britain can get something like Norway or Switzerland. But that won't solve anything.

"We do agree with the EU that you cannot be cherry-picking," Solberg said. "Norway is outside [the EU], but we are inside the single market ... We do accept that decisions on the four freedoms are done in Brussels."

"You can’t just opt out of one of the freedoms," she added.

The four freedoms are free movement of goods, free movement of capital, free movement of people, and freedom of services.

Britain can take it or leave it. The Brexit referendum was a lie on the available alternatives.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 23 2019 10:35 utc | 127

Posted by: somebody | Mar 23, 2019 6:35:52 AM | 128

"The four freedoms are free movement of goods, free movement of capital, free movement of people, and freedom of services."

Quite Orwellian. Especially in the globalization context those boil down to free movement of power, money, and luxuries in proportion to how much power and money you have. And of course the free global cultural movement of religious desperation to acquire and acquire and acquire worthless junk, and to destroy and destroy and destroy in order to acquire it.

For regular people it's the four enslavements and self-enslavements. How much do people really need which they can't produce for themselves? And how much do they enslave themselves to the fake need for worthless junk, all that junk which globalization murders the Earth so freely to overproduce so freely and has flow so freely. And how much do they enslave themselves to the purely artificial, elite-imposed need for money in order to exist on the previously, truly free Earth?

Freedom is Slavery. In our ecocidal context it's also mass suicide.

All the anguish over Brexit lays bare the deep ambivalence which is almost universal among the "civilized". The ground is shaking.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 23 2019 11:46 utc | 128

Posted by: smuks | Mar 22, 2019 7:35:18 PM | 121

Depends from where you look from. For economies like Italy, Spain, France et al who would like to solve economic problems by devaluation, the Euro is too strong. From the point of view of Germany the Euro is advantageous but too weak (zero rates are a huge issue for the German "saving" mentality)
Angela Merkel's refusal to work with Macron on these issues is dynamite, but basically a calculation that France cannot leave. What this does for populist right wing movements is a special kind of Merkel blindness.

Britain - wisely - has kept its currency. Unwisely, British people have continuously voted for a conservative government imposing austerity.
Employment figures are mostly driven by demographics in Germany, and I guess in Britain, too. France has the healthiest demographics of the whole of Europe.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 23 2019 12:30 utc | 129

Posted by: somebody | Mar 23, 2019 8:30:09 AM | 130

add: unfortunately employment figures can be driven by deregulation and cuts in social security, too ....

Posted by: somebody | Mar 23 2019 12:57 utc | 130

Where is Mr. Bean when we need him?

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 23 2019 14:03 utc | 131

Pete Townshend
'The euros are mafiaso bastards'

BUt, but...
Who is the meanest baddest mafiaso in town?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51308.htm

Posted by: denk | Mar 23 2019 15:57 utc | 132

Julian @ 125. (in response to Noirette) Heh.

Loony tunes.

Corbyn is not "paralysed" at all.

Corbyn wants Brexit but Corbyn doesn't want anything to do with it. No ownership over what happens at all. Corbyn wants to be able to blame the incompetent Theresa May and her Tory Government for absolutely anything that goes wrong with Brexit as then he can swoop in and have a mandate to fix things exactly the way he wants.

In some way, I would like it for you to be right. But doubt it very much. No way.

If anything, the kind of political calculations that are implied in your post are palace intrigues, hidden in the smoky chambers, etc. Not good, not ‘democratic’, in any way transparent, over *years,* and on the part of Labour, not outlining any position, even with alternatives that might suit (eg. EU is good for this, bad for that, here is our manifesto, how do we go forward?)

This is not a family fight, a nasty upheaval that a kindly, clever, old uncle can fix, by allowing all to ‘let off steam’ and then intervening with some ‘miracle’ solution.

So Corbyn has been biding his time, mouthing emptiness, being attacked by 3rd-wayers, vilified for anti-semitism, etc., and just waiting for an oppo to organise everything his way?

This is a fantasy. He doesn’t have the ‘votes’ (by any calcs), is a very weakened pol figure, and once Brexit kicks in (as I suppose for now it will), the game changes. Corbyn taking charge - in the sense of actually organising, imposing, ordering, gathering massive support - will never happen.

Sadly.


Posted by: Noirette | Mar 23 2019 16:35 utc | 133

@Daniel 124

Very well argued.

Open borders combined with neo-liberal austerity (cutting of social benefits, healthcare, education, artificially high property prices and rents, high unemployment, underemployment, etc) is not a race, but a rollercoaster to the bottom for 2/3 of society.

Posted by: coaster rider | Mar 23 2019 17:01 utc | 134

somebody 127, posted to Noirette:

You also seem to have missed that the Trade Union Congress (who controls Labour) AND the Conderation of British Industry (Employers) came out against no deal demanding plan B.

Of course many are against No Deal. Me too (as an outsider).

Unfortunately, voting / being against No Deal, can only be indicative.

Deals require two parties to sign, to agree (at least, might be more.)

Supporting, voting for, endorsing, No Deal, is maybe a positive attitude, a show of some will, but does not in any way guarantee, impose, force, positions on the other party.

The EU is not bound by a UK stance against No Deal.

You also seem to have missed that the Trade Union Congress (who controls Labour) AND the Conderation of British Industry (Employers) came out against No Deal demanding plan B.

Millions of ppl, many orgs, as you quote, are against No Deal, of which I am perfectly aware, I am myself also against No Deal.. as an outsider. The hitch is Plan B, what is it?

May (and Brexiteers) seem to have united most of the country against them.

Yes, so then what?

You also forget that the referendum was decided by people not voting. You can be sure they will vote this time.

Yes, many ppl did not vote and stayed home (Brexit.) Then what? What are the rules for referenda, should ppl be forced to vote, fined for not doing, so, etc. ? As for voting ‘this time’ on what? No new vote oppos are scheduled or will be in the near future on this matter.

Brexit derangement syndrome is very catching :)

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 23 2019 17:46 utc | 135

heh, i made a copy paste error, still the gist is clear.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 23 2019 18:32 utc | 136

Maybe B will explain to us one day what is so great about the EU ????

The guy just love that undemocratic corrupted institution that keep ruinning country after country and provide no growth at all compared to every other signle economic zone in the world . let s not even talk about how it just destroy every social right gained by the previous genarations....

No fact about what 's going to happen in term of budget for the EU if it go hard brexit just fear mongering like all the msm outlet .

Weak and biased you are b so disapointed.

Posted by: Why ? | Mar 23 2019 20:05 utc | 137

somebody @130

Spain and Italy maybe, but France is not fond of devals. On the other hand, none of them want to miss the blessing of borrowing at negative rates. And the financial mayhem caused by a break-up would be hard to survive, both economically and politically.

Merkel cannot embrace Macron's proposals openly, having spent all her 'political capital'. Her successor will have better chances; erstwhile, the 'baby steps' of econ integration will continue.

Britain has kept the Pound bc of its financial sector. So far, it's been a good deal for the people, but that will change. I don't envy them, the coming years will be rough.

Noirette @136

You're missing the main point. The parliament vote 'against no deal' doesn't mean anything, bc it's the default outcome - unless a deal of some kind is agreed upon, the result will still be 'no deal' even if MPs have formally opposed it.
The other EU states will accept any agreement that makes sense, in terms of basic logic.

It's cruel, but if no option has a majority, 20% of the British pop will force their will on the entire country.

Posted by: smuks | Mar 23 2019 21:49 utc | 138

Posted by: smuks | Mar 23, 2019 5:49:09 PM | 139

"You're missing the main point. The parliament vote 'against no deal' doesn't mean anything, bc it's the default outcome - unless a deal of some kind is agreed upon, the result will still be 'no deal' even if MPs have formally opposed it."

As I understand it, if Theresa May does not get her deal through she will have to ask Brussels for a long extension, meaning Britain will have to select Euro MPs. If Tory hard Brexiteers try to replace her they will have to get the majority of parliament behind them. Which they won't be able to.

If parliament wants to stop Brexit, all they have to do is revoke the leave.

The way Corbyn is playing it, he wants to topple Theresa May and then negotiate Brexit.


Posted by: somebody | Mar 23 2019 23:23 utc | 139

This is the Law of Unintended Consequences. If those who voted for Brexit had foreseen the problems it would cause with the Republic of Ireland - Northern Ireland border then they might have had second thoughts. However, no matter - it is generally believed that Northern Ireland will unite with the Republic of Ireland as the Catholic or native Irish population exceeds the Protestant or Ulster population. Scotland might then break off from the UK and join the EU (a fair chance of this happening - I won't place odds on this) then you have the absurd situation where Scotland has a say in controlling EU policy, but the remainder of the UK does not and has to obey EU law to trade with the EU.

Let me add one thing that has been missed in the comments: David Cameron (former UK Prime-Minister) sealed a deal with the (China) Asia Investment Bank (despite USA disapproval) and is actively promoting UK participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. Perhaps this is something he did right. (It's ironic that Italy is being condemned for its in the BRI and no mention of the UK's active involvement in it). The UK will need all the help it does after Brexit (if that is what happens) with alternative trading partners to prosper. Unfortunately Theresa May (and the UK government) has poisoned the waters with Russia and sanctions and the dubious Skripal incident to make it difficult.

Unless their is a Volte Face and acts of nimbleness and Real Politik then a no-deal Brexit could be disastrous for the UK.

Posted by: Tony Manolis | Mar 23 2019 23:53 utc | 140

somebody @140

Theresa May can't just 'ask for a long extension', or rather: she won't get it.
Brussels has made it clear that there needs to be a valid reason, i.e. some kind of new situation and thus new political options. I suppose there's three possible scenarios in which the EU would agree an extension (of more than a few weeks): A second referendum, a snap election or parliament accepting May's deal, with Britain needing time for legal implementation.

There's no majority in Parliament for either revoking article 50 or calling a second referendum. So either MPs change their mind and support the deal, or May steps down. Or else it's the default option of a no-deal crash.

Theresa May's job has always been a political suicide mission - no matter the outcome, her career is over. That's why no challengers have emerged to dethrone her. In a way, her sacrifice can be considered noble. Corbyn meanwhile knows that all he has to do is wait and not commit any grave errors which might threaten his majority in the next elections. That's why he was always reluctant to oppose Brexit or embrace the calls for a second referendum from within his party: It would open a huge flank for the right-wing media to attack him.

Sorry for the long post, I realize that I'm kind of 'mansplaining' and will keep it shorter next time.

Tony Manolis @141

I doubt that English voters care much about Northern Ireland, however, they would have voted differently if there had been an honest debate on the econ. consequences of Brexit. N.I. itself is majority protestant.

Interesting that you mention AIIB and OBOR/ BRI. I didn't know about Cameron's promotion of it; this seems to confirm my view that the Tories have been playing both sides all along. The old study pals Cameron and Johnson seemingly made a deal: 'Ok, you're for Remain and I'm for Brexit, so no matter the outcome, we'll still be on top.'
But they may have underestimated the dynamic of the process, where radical voices promoting a hard Brexit (no deal) set the tone. Without free access to the European market, Britain can't participate in the BRI and China loses interest in the UK.

Posted by: smuks | Mar 24 2019 11:57 utc | 141

Posted by: smuks | Mar 24, 2019 7:57:19 AM | 141

Theresa May has three choices if her deal does not get through a third time
- step down - someone from her cabinet taking over
- call elections
- go no deal BREXIT - parliament can and will stop her doing this
- go soft BREXIT - she seems to rule that out
In all cases EU will prolong but force Britain to elect EU MP's or agree to a Norway BREXIT which could be done easily as this solution already exists.

Theresa May's mission is to keep the Tory Party united, it is squaring the circle. There are enough remainers in the Conservative Party to make a no deal BREXIT impossible.

Of course, Jeremy Corbyn's main mission is to defeat the Conservative party.
A no deal BREXIT however is very unlikely.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 24 2019 13:03 utc | 142

somebody@140
You are correct: Northern Ireland is majority Protestant now, but will not be in the next decade, when there will be a majority Catholic population.
See
https://www.ft.com/content/7d5244a0-f22d-11e8-ae55-df4bf40f9d0d
and many other articles.
Even now there is a close split re. re-unification.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-united-ireland-referendum-northern-border-uk-yougov-poll-a8389086.html

Posted by: Tony Manolis | Mar 24 2019 14:15 utc | 143

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 23, 2019 1:46:14 PM | 135

Millions of ppl, many orgs, as you quote, are against No Deal, of which I am perfectly aware, I am myself also against No Deal.. as an outsider. The hitch is Plan B, what is it?

Trade Unions plus employers are the economy of Britain. You bet that they get what they want if joined (which is rare).

There has always been plan B and plan C. Plan B: Norway, Plan C: remain. Plan A: no deal or May's deal.

My point was that there is no majority for no deal Brexit MPs have to fear when campaigning for re-election. BREXIT vote was regionally confined, it is not reflected in the make-up of the British parliament.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 24 2019 15:03 utc | 144

Posted by: Russ | Mar 23, 2019 7:46:44 AM | 128

For regular people it's the four enslavements and self-enslavements. How much do people really need which they can't produce for themselves? And how much do they enslave themselves to the fake need for worthless junk, all that junk which globalization murders the Earth so freely to overproduce so freely and has flow so freely. And how much do they enslave themselves to the purely artificial, elite-imposed need for money in order to exist on the previously, truly free Earth?

That is a bit patronizing, telling people what they want to do with their life, don't you think?
It is historically wrong, by the way. There is no recorded time when people did not exchange goods using some type of money. Money is older than borders.
There are a million - maybe more British people living in the EU, lots of them in retirement in Spain which almost certainly is due to the climate something Britain just does not offer.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 24 2019 15:33 utc | 145

:) a lot of misunderstandings...brexit derangement…

somebody at 144. Well I'm glad to hear there is a plan B (taking it as your interpretation), don't mean that sarcastically. I had thought a Norway type relationship might suit or should at least be seriously considered.

——————————————

Brexit. imho.

In the latest meet between May and the EU Council - no aides were allowed in the room to encourage her to speak frankly - it is reported that she was asked repeatedly what she would do if the, for the Brits, her Withdrawal Agreement, was voted down again, for the third, or possibly even the fourth time by Parliament. (Provided the Speaker would allow that, and I think he would find a loophole as he hardly wants to go down in history as Bercow who Botched Brexit.) She gave no response. Of course that doesn’t mean there is no plan B, May might not have wanted to reveal whatever.

As I understand it:

1) if Parliament approves the *only* existing ‘deal’ or proposal on the table, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated over the past 2 years, the deadline for Brexit is pushed forward to 22 May, to allow some time for extra legislation, adjustments, whatever. Once the WA is signed by both parties, accomodations on specific matters, such as widget certification, drug imports, will take place, via ‘special temp measures’ - because everyone will be, will have to be, on the same page, working towards the same goal. Difficulties and disruptions will appear but *in principle* would be ironed out.

2) If the WA is not approved by a majority vote in Parliament, the deadline for a crash-out (fall-out is the usual term) Brexit is 12 April.

The conditions for extending the 12.4 deadline, to an unspecificied longer period, are imho rather vague, providing a way forward and such type of language.

What the way forward might be is opaque. In the UK, a new Gvmt, new PM, new proposals, perhaps. The EU does not want the UK to leave and is very willing to consider \new BS/, to bend over backwards, etc.

The EU is now in control of the process, it can choose to pursue some other path, and state, for ex. that, due to current unexpected positions / events UK-side, it is necessary for the good of all, to cancel deadlines, in order to closely explore, discuss, etc. a new future ‘deal’, thereby preventing a crash-out for some time.

Alternatively, the EU can throw up its hands in mock despair, and leave the UK marooned, tied to 5-eyes, (loosely) new trade deals with India, WTO frame, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 24 2019 17:36 utc | 146

Posted by: somebody | Mar 24, 2019 11:33:30 AM | 145

"That is a bit patronizing, telling people what they want to do with their life, don't you think?"

No, it's your bubble-boy ilk who always have outdone yourselves with being patronizing. If I have any of that I learned it from the best.

"It is historically wrong, by the way."

No, you're historically wrong.

"There is no recorded time when people did not exchange goods using some type of money. Money is older than borders."

That's very cute. I assume you mean written recordings. You would stack the deck that way, since you're so wrong in historical reality. Of course the vast majority of human societies didn't use money, and the vast majority of those who did used it in very limited ways. They weren't Mammon psychopaths the way you cultists are.

"There are a million - maybe more British people living in the EU, lots of them in retirement in Spain which almost certainly is due to the climate something Britain just does not offer."

The whole Spain thing is telling. I never researched who voted "Remain", but I got the impression from reading some stuff that they're the same verminous gilded youth (and their "retired" relatives, as if any of them were ever anything but pure vermin parasites who gave nothing to the Earth, only took) who are the paid "protestors" and concert-goers in Venezuela. The same vermin from Ukraine's Maiden.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 24 2019 20:59 utc | 147

somebody @142

Sorry, but I'm afraid three of your four options don't work.

If May steps down and someone else takes over, this doesn't change anything, hence no extension.
Go no deal - how can parliament stop this? Only by either accepting her deal, or by firing her.
Go soft - where's the parliamentary majority for that?

So unless MPs do vote for her deal, the only way to avoid (default) no deal is to call elections.

Posted by: smuks | Mar 24 2019 22:15 utc | 148

I'm a "Brit" whether I like it or not, and like all other Brits I am subject to the tenets of the 'law'. "No-one is above the law", a maxim implying the subjugation of ALL bodies to obedience to its dictates, including both Parliament and King. 'Constitutional 'Laws cannot be changed by a simple majority vote in Parliament. To change a constitutional law requires a 'Constitutional Assembly' --- ( The vote to accede to the EEC was approved by a majority of 8, a little over 1% majority. I leave you to read "FCO+30+1048.pdf, for yourself, other than to state that the document is an insight into the illicit machinations of the FCO to get the public favourable to the entry into the EEC.) By all accounts accedence to the EEC was achieved by fraud, and fraud in a contract renders void the contract in question. "False in uno, False in omnibus.(Maxim of law). It follows that the original contract to join the EEC was false, as from day one and all parliamentary enactments since that day are null and void, as is the act itself. European legislation has no lawful standing in the UK. Q.E.D. Sovereignty cannot be voted away; It can only disappear by defeat in war or by the overwhelming decision of a Constitutional Assembly. So @ 1-147, you are wasting your time in spin and conjecture on non-issues; the fact remains that surrender of sovereignty is proscribed by many number of constitutional laws extant in the UK.------- Relative to the Magna Carta, you should not imagine this Treaty between King and subjects to be in any way attached to the 'parliament' we have today. Magna Carta came about before parliament was created,(circa 1236) and parliament cannot repeal that which is not of its own creation. Yet Magna Carta is the bedrock of English, and consequently British. Law, and is as valid today as it became in 1215. ----- It is important to distinguish between Constitutional acts and statutory acts of parliament. Constitutional acts are as like carved into stone; statuary acts are by 'consent of the parties' A statuary act cannot contravene a constitutional act. Period. Opinion does not enter into this debate, only matters of Law, with a big L. --- Hoping this discourse clears away some of the weeds re: Brexit.

Posted by: Red | Mar 25 2019 0:33 utc | 149

Posted by: smuks | Mar 24, 2019 6:15:00 PM | 148

I suppose the answer is in John Bercow's knowledge of acts of parliament.

May has no majority for her deal nor does she have a majority for new elections. She cannot blackmail MPs. She can step down to be replaced by a Tory hard line brexiteer - who will have no parliamentary majority to prevent parliament from taking over or a Tory remainer who will be able to find a majority across party lines, or will stay and be forced to act upon parliamentary decisions (or be impeached). Any government needs a parliamentary majority.

The result of all scenarios will be something like Norway - which the EU will gladly accept. Should the EU insist on May's deal (unlikely), British parliament can revoke. The danger of a no deal Brexit is nil as Parliament can always stop it. A scenario where parliament decides to revoke but the prime minister refuses to act accordingly and keeps her job is not feasible.

MP's main interest is to get reelected. People in Britain have a habit of writing to their MP if they don't like what they do. I hear MPs are getting death threats - so they have an interest to get this solved, fast.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2019 1:03 utc | 150

@somebody

Sorry, I still fail to see how any of this could work. If there's no majority for either May's deal or Norway, they won't happen. And I don't understand how parliament could 'stop no deal', other than by calling snap elections. Looks like we won't agree on this one, for now.
(And looks like Brexiteers have cornered themselves to the extent that they are completely in denial of the world outside.)

Posted by: smuks | Mar 25 2019 1:24 utc | 151

Something to remember when you put Brexit versus Y2K - Y2K was widely touted as a problem, yes, and turned out to be a non-issue, yes - but that was because, behind the scenes, a lot of money and time was spent dealing with the problem.

Had Y2K come and gone with as much preparation as a no-deal Brexit has had, it would have been a disaster (sorry for not being able to show a counter-factual).

It is all very well and good to say that "we'll pull through" and "the people on the ground will keep things as they are" - but it might be a good idea to consider if, instead of just "waving things through" they'll just stop accepting them - it would be easier to do (literally) nothing than do something, yes? Just tell the ferries to go back where they came from (much like how many EU citizens are told to do so in the UK; admittedly this is a European-wide problem with economic insecurity bleeding over to fear and anger of the other).

While I am quite sure that the EU will cock itself up quite splendidly, with or without the aid of the UK, I would point out that to assume that the UK Government will make a success of Brexit is to ascribe it quite a bit more competence that I, for one, think it warrants. While May have been chosen for her ability to bring down Brexit in a mire of incompentence, the inability of her and her other ministers are not limited solely to Brexit (Grayling comes to mind).

It may be comforting to believe that "they" have chosen May to foul up Brexit; in general I have found it quite often to be the case that "they" have no idea what they are doing, and the main reason "they" continue to succeed is because they literally are not allowed to fail, due to their connections. It is quite interesting to see economists go from talking how government needs to leave markets alone (minimum wage, unionization) to how government must absolutely act when bigger companies are in the firing line.

Posted by: Anders K | Mar 25 2019 11:06 utc | 152

Anders K | Mar 25, 2019 7:06:38 AM | 152

"Something to remember when you put Brexit versus Y2K - Y2K was widely touted as a problem, yes, and turned out to be a non-issue, yes - but that was because, behind the scenes, a lot of money and time was spent dealing with the problem.

Had Y2K come and gone with as much preparation as a no-deal Brexit has had, it would have been a disaster (sorry for not being able to show a counter-factual)."

I compared it to that because I expect them to do whatever it takes to keep the worthless commodities overproducing and flowing, over the short run.

Of course I'd love to see it cause globalization physically to halt and break down, I'm just not enough of an optimist for that.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 25 2019 12:49 utc | 153

Posted by: Russ | Mar 25, 2019 8:49:42 AM | 153

"I compared it to that because I expect them to do whatever it takes to keep the worthless commodities overproducing and flowing, over the short run.

Of course I'd love to see it cause globalization physically to halt and break down, I'm just not enough of an optimist for that."

It's arguably worse; if UK does a no-deal Brexit, it is similar to what would have happened if one singular nation did not perform its Y2K preparation. In this case, it would "prove" that leaving the EU means chaos and suffering which is something that few want (and most of those are far, far away from that suffering), though usually for different reasons - most people, because it would cause unnecessary suffering and some people because it would make breaking the EU far harder, with quite a bit of overlap between the two.

Posted by: Anders K | Mar 25 2019 13:02 utc | 154

If so, that's because those (the "left") who are supposed to be leaders against globalization and insecurity and for community, including preparation, abdicated and became globalists themselves. So far as I can see "We're all globalists now", and "there is no alternative".

That's part of why I gave up on the left, and why I can only call myself an abolitionist and Gaian, but have no other ready-to-hand political identification.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 25 2019 13:12 utc | 155

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