andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I've been deliberately not writing Brexit posts for a while. Largely because the choices that have been made sound so counterintuitive and illogical that reading about them didn't feel like it was adding to my understanding, which means that following them wasn't leading to any conclusion. There's no point watching a randomly wandering child if what you care about is where they're going.

But at this point the choices are narrowing. And although we still don't know which one we're going to end up with, I figured it would be useful to me to write them down, along with how we got here, and others might find them likewise useful.

Theresa May has failed to pass her deal twice, and been told that she can't bring it forward again.

She can, of course, bring it forward again. By passing a motion to bring it forward. But that requires a majority to debate it. Which it's not clear she has.

Apparently some Conservatives who voted against it are upset that they now can't vote for it. Which is the kind of performative idiocy which got us into this disastrous mess in the first place.

She's now gone to the EU to ask for a short extension. They've said "You can't have an extension without a reason for it." Which is a surprise to nobody, because they've been saying that for a long time. The UK needs to put forward either a referendum or an election or some other thing which might actually lead to an actual decision. They have no interest whatsoever in just letting this drag on pointlessly. Frankly, they have better things to do with their time.

So the options remaining are to tell the EU we need an extension for something meaningful (basically, either a general election or a referendum), to vote for May's Deal, or to crash out with No Deal.

All of these are plausible results of the next week. None of them seem any more likely than any of the others.

There are a few things I don't understand.

I don't understand what the No Deal people are thinking long term. Are they planning to _never_ have a deal with the huge trading bloc next door? Because I would assume that when the UK decides that it does want a deal that really high up the list of EU demands will be open borders with Ireland, with everything that entails.

I don't understand what most MPs are thinking. I don't know if they don't understand the EU, are avoiding thinking about the EU, or just don't want to step out of line with whichever party bloc they're following. Rees Mogg I understand - he's got a huge amount of money and Brexit could make him even more. Boris wants to be PM, and will say anything to get there (and the truthfulness of his words is irrelevant to him). Theresa May has decided that she must deliver Brexit no matter what. But most MPs seem to be wilfully ignoring how the world works, vaguely hoping that someone else will be the adult in the room and save them, and I can't tell if this is an intellectual inability to understand, or a wilful refusal to look at the facts.

To be honest, at this point I don't think May's deal is _that_ bad. It hilariously traps us in the EU until magic sparkle technology fixes the Irish Border Problem. And it leaves things open for frankly any kind of actual relationship. No Deal is catastrophic, obviously. Food Riots are not something we should be seriously considering. My preferred solution would be to revoke the whole thing, but as there's absolutely nowhere near the numbers for that in parliament, I strongly suspect that should it come down to the wire that MPs will be left with a choice between "Run another referendum", "Vote for May's Deal", and "No Deal". I'd like to hope they'd go for the referendum. But as Jeremy Corbyn is so childish that he'll stomp out of a meeting if someone he doesn't like is invited to it, the chances of actual compromise are incredibly low. So doom for all it is!

Date: 2019-03-20 10:02 pm (UTC)
cmcmck: (Wile E Coyote)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
I've feared a crash out pretty much ever since this imbecility started and I'm not seeing anything to take that fear away.

Corbyn's childish flounce may just have destroyed his political career.

May's bullyragging apology for a speech may just have split her party wide open and destroyed hers.

Interesting times...........



Date: 2019-03-20 11:35 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I'd rather a unilateral revocation of Article 50 and no doom thanks, and also a pony.

Date: 2019-03-21 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
Yeah -- honestly, that looks far more likely than a referendum at this stage (though not likely at all). All that would require would be for May to do a U-turn, just like she's done on everything else when things get difficult. It only requires changing one mind, not a few hundred.
But also, I don't think we'd win another referendum :-/

Date: 2019-03-21 06:59 am (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I don't want another fucking referendum (after AV, Scottish Independence and Brexit, it's crystal clear that referendum campaigns are poison and barely about the question on the ballot paper)

*breathe*

and I've never understood why the Remain activism seemed to settle on this People's Vote stuff. I'm not giving my limited time and energy to a campaign for Another Fucking Referendum, it's the opposite of inspiring.

Date: 2019-03-21 10:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
Absolutely agreed. Referendums are the opposite of proper representative democracy, and should be utterly banned.
Unfortunately, I *do* understand why the "People's Vote" became a thing. It's because of Norman Lamb specifically. He was scared that he might lose his seat if he stood for a pro-Remain party in a leave area. Because the Lib Dems had so few MPs in 2016, he had disproportionate influence on the messaging, and so Tim Farron's initial "we will oppose Brexit" became "we will oppose Brexit -- by having another referendum", which was as far as Lamb could be pushed (and even then he still wouldn't vote against Article 50). And since that was the position of the Lib Dems, the most Remain of all parties, that was then seen as the furthest any Remain campaigners could push for.
If we crash out next week with no deal, because no-one in Parliament will call for revocation even now, it will be in large part due to that one man.

Date: 2019-03-21 11:40 am (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
That one man, and the failure of the party as a whole to keep his influence more proportionate. (and I'm a member of that party so I'm including myself in a tiny way in that - I just can't avoid seeing system-level failures as well as individual-level failures)


Date: 2019-03-21 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
Oh indeed. There's *more* than enough blame to go round, sadly.

Date: 2019-03-21 12:33 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
Blame for many, doom for all!

Date: 2019-03-21 05:18 am (UTC)
calimac: (Default)
From: [personal profile] calimac
There won't be a choice among those three things. There'll be, at most, up or down votes on each of them. And each will fail, because there isn't a majority of MPs who want any of them.

May's deal is a good deal on the terms on which it was struck. The problem is that hardly anyone wants those terms. Brexit proponents want the idealized Brexit that was sold during the referendum campaign, and can't accept that it's not on offer. Remainers don't want to leave at all, so the deal offers them nothing they want. And so they all vote against it.

Date: 2019-03-21 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] channelpenguin
I believe Brexit fans want a few different (and possibly contradictory) versions of a fantasy Brexit, but otherwise, I agree with you.

And with Andy about Rees-Mogg and Johnson.

Sigh.
Edited Date: 2019-03-21 08:33 am (UTC)

Date: 2019-03-21 12:44 pm (UTC)
chickenfeet: (thatcher)
From: [personal profile] chickenfeet
I'd hazard a guess that most MPs think in electoral terms pretty much all the time. There's no solution for either party that isn't going to piss off a big slice of their core support so they can't find a "good answer". So they stick pencils up their noses and go "wibble, wibble, wibble".

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