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British EU Referendum Thread

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Taure, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That is a question British historians will be asking for a very long time. Brexit is likely going to make some peoples' careers in analysis and interpretation of Why?

    If I had to distil it down, I'd pinpoint a few things:
    1. Nobody actually expected it to come out the way it did. Even Boris Johnson, leader of the Vote Leave campaign, didn't expect to win and it's probably scuppered his ambitions of becoming Prime Minister because of it.
    2. Because of point 1, a lot of people treated it as a protest vote. We'd had 6 years of Tory government through a recession and austerity had hit a lot of the poorer areas hard. People were angry at the government and wanted change so they figured this was a good way to show their discontent.
    3. Mixing into this were far-right people like Nigel Farage who became the figurehead for the Leave campaign far more than Boris Johnson did. He got more air time on TV than most of the Remain campaign combined and he's weirdly charismatic for being an odious fuckwit. He's pretty much the only person outside of Tim Martin (chairman of the Wetherspoons pub franchise) in the Leave campaign who actually wants us out on Hard Brexit.
    4. As @Nazgus mentioned, Farage and the likes lied repeatedly about what Brexit would look like and it's coming out now that they spent more than UK law allows on promoting Leave. The £300 million per day for the NHS slogan was touted for months and then the day after the Referendum we had Nigel Farage on This Morning saying there's no chance that would happen. There's investigation into whether they were funded by Russia and it's looking fairly likely that was the case.
    5. Saying different things to different people also meant that everyone had their own idea of what an independent Britain would look like. Some thought it meant we would get a great deal with the EU but be able to control our own borders (ha). Others thought we'd establish closer ties with the US (remember that Obama was still President at the time). Others were just outright nationalists who hated the idea of the EU having authority over us and figured any downsides were worth the return of national sovereignty.
    6. More than that though, the Remain campaign was a god damn shambles. David Cameron and George Osborne were the most vocal proponents of Remain and they're pretty reviled in a lot of areas for pushing austerity in the wake of the financial crisis. They also couldn't run a campaign for shit. The Leavers called the Remain campaign Project Fear because Cameron and Osborne went all in on the negative effects leaving the EU would have on the UK. A lot of people thought they were being hyperbolic. Turns out they were probably underestimating the impact it would have.
    7. Labour was pretty much silent during all of this as well. A lot of that is because the mainstream media paid pretty much zero attention to them, but part of it was because Corbyn supports Brexit himself and (I suspect) wanted to use the ensuing clusterfuck to jump into the PM's seat so he could build his socialist utopia while the Tories imploded.
    All of this and more combined to make the Leave vote look really unlikely to begin with, but come out as the winner in the end.
     
  2. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    After yesterday and tonight, I move we amend the name of the House of Commons to the House of Clusterfucks.
     
  3. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Summary of tonight: Government got their no-no-deal-now motion amended to no-no-deal-ever, were then forced to whip against their own (amended) motion ... and lost by 40+ votes.

    Party discipline, what party discipline? Right now, the Government and the Tories are just a more or less random assortment of people. Honestly, for all the fear about splintering if there was no careful intra-party balancing, it sure does not seem that much different currently.
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Well, the ECJ has already ruled on this issue. The UK can unilaterally revoke article 50 and go back to its status immediately before activating article 50 with zero consequences. And let's be honest, the reaction in the EU Commission would be relief. A eurosceptic UK within the EU is not so big a problem, because the UK, for all its grumbling, did at least comply with EU law. The moment the UK returned to that position, Poland, Hungary and Italy would leapfrog Britain to top status as "EU problem members", given that all three are in active conflict with the EU regarding compliance with fundamental areas of EU law (independent judiciary/democracy/budget). Indeed, even with Brexit going on, many in the EU Commission likely consider Italy to be the bigger problem.

    As for Ireland: the EU stands shoulder to shoulder with the Republic of Ireland... but with a knife held behind its back. The UK today announced what it has been alluding to for a long time: were hard Brexit to happen, the UK would simply ignore the border. Tariffs would not be imposed on goods coming in from RoI to NI, no border checks would be put in place, no border infrastructure at all. This exposes the barely-discussed red line that the EU has on Ireland, as referred to by Sesc above: namely, that if the UK becomes a "third country" under EU law, it is the EU who will be demanding that Ireland impose a border, while the UK will be quite happy to continue the borderless status quo.

    I do wonder, in such a situation, how long Ireland's pro-EU feeling would last. It was not so long ago (2008) that Ireland rejected the Lisbon treaty in a referendum, after all.
     
  5. Nazgus

    Nazgus Chief Warlock

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    I'm reading some articles and trying to understand what happened but there's not enough info out for me to make sense of it. What exactly went down? The no-no-deal-now vote got turned into a no-no-deal-ever, which made the government whip against it so they could have it as a stick motivation?

    Except there's also something about them rejecting an extension? So wtf is going to happen when the deadline rolls around?

    EDIT: Misread the article, extension vote is tomorrow. What was rejected today was a no-deal Brexit with an extension for a managed exit (whatever that means when it's a no-deal Brexit).
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  6. blob

    blob Slug Club Member

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    Seeing the no-deal Brexit at any time under whatever circumstances (Spelman ammendment) at only 4 majority. As I understand it, it was strongly predicted to fail.

    The government whipping their MPs to vote against their own motion though, in a 'free vote'... lmao. It beggars belief how bizarre all of it is.

    Not sure how I missed that, TBH. It kind of makes sense in a really twisted way.
     
  7. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Indeed. Of course many in Ireland would no doubt continue to blame the UK as the root cause of the problem. But if the UK and Ireland were in agreement to just pretend that there's no border, and it's the EU who is saying "Ireland, you have to install border infrastructure", then at least some blame would shift to the EU, I think. And the longer the situation dragged out, with the UK letting RoI citizens have free access to NI, but people in NI unable to have free access to RoI, the more the EU would receive the blame.

    This situation is the worst nightmare of the EU: having to choose between keeping Ireland happy (and, potentially, peace in Ireland), and the integrity of the single market.
     
  8. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    What, because they should make it easy? And encourage other separatist movements inside Europe?

    Sure, but not a great plan.

    Because democracy is only so strong as the least-informed idiot.
     
  9. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The thing that people need to remember about the EU is that it is a bureaucracy, not a government. Governments can find political solutions, they can gloss over inconvenient situations with a liberal application of fudge. So, to use the example above, if it were up to the governments of the UK and Ireland, a solution to the border would have been found long ago... the problem would not even arise. The respective sovereign nations would simply have said "we don't want this to happen, so it won't".

    But the EU cannot operate like that. The EU has no sovereignty of its own. It acts via borrowed sovereignty, gifted to it by complex legal structures, and only exerciseable in accordance with those structures. While the EU does have an executive, the Commission does not have the discretion of a true executive to make an agreement first and then find a way to make it work legally. Most Western nations possess the principle of rule of law, but the EU is the next level up - rule by law alone.

    Put aside the fact that the negotiating guidelines set for the Commission were designed to produce a punishing Brexit. Even without those guidelines, it was simply outside the nature of the EU to be able to negotiate a mutually advantageous Brexit. Such a negotiation would have required finding political solutions (like, "there is a border, but we won't enforce it") that flout the "legally correct" approach, which the EU is fundamentally incapable of negotiating or implementing.
     
  10. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    As a supranational governing institution, made up of constituent political entities, I think it's fairer to say that the EU would be capable of operating on the political plane you describe, but simply hasn't. It certainly behaves politically and operates according to predictable political strictures dictated by the concerns of its member states.
     
  11. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Hmm ... I mean, it's true that you could just ignore a border. I wonder how this would fly with the WTO, though. You declare you have tariffs on goods, but don't check for those goods anywhere? That seems like a mighty big loophole.

    Leaving aside actual health concerns like lifestock and other practical concerns like that, the legal problem was that as a member of the WTO, you can't randomly grant some country certain rights that other countries don't have. Saying "everything is taxed", but then not checking or collecting those taxes in certain places seems a bit too easy to work ...


    @blob: 4 votes for the amendment, but the actual vote then was on the motion as amended. And that passed by 43.


    Also, the crystal ball is back. We will see May's deal yet again. And this time, the ERG will vote for it, because the alternative is no Brexit. I'm still not sure if this is enough, however. Even with her entire party voting for it, there's still the DUP's votes that are missing. I don't think there were that many Labour defectors -- especially not now.

    So the deal might fail yet again -- this time by two or three votes.
     
  12. melphion

    melphion Muggle

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    Assuming of course that her deal CAN be put up for another vote. There's discussion now that the speaker could block it because of a rule against putting forward something the house has already voted on.

    Plus her extension plan that might scare the ERG can still be amended before it goes up, MPs tomorrow could take all the teeth out of it. They've already shown today that they're pretty good at mucking up her plans.
     
  13. Giovanni

    Giovanni God of Scotch

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    I watched this live. I died laughing when I heard the gasps when people realized the amendment had passed. Especially since, like pretty much everyone else, I realized it meant the Tories would give a 3 line whip on a "free vote."

    Then those stupid fuckers actually went and did it.
     
  14. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The most glorious part of today's session was John Bercow's tie.
     
  15. Giovanni

    Giovanni God of Scotch

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    Isn't that basically every day that Parliament sits?
     
  16. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    @Sesc selectively not enforcing a border is absolutely against WTO rules. But the WTO is fairly toothless, and very slow moving in any event. And there's always the old gem "national security" to justify it.
    --- Post automerged ---
    May's deal is coming back for a third vote just before she makes a formal request for an extension. Now that no deal is firmly off the table, the ERG might finally back May's deal. The question is if the DUP will as well. Either way, the next vote will be a lot closer, and could well pass.

    Very risky moment for remainers.
     
  17. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    There has been talk of Bercow possibly sinking it prematurely on account of the deal already having failed. (Twice, at that.)

    On the one hand, if there's any Speaker who would, he would. On the other, he doesn't seem like someone who would relish the idea of throwing that much chaos into an already chaotic situation.
    --- Post automerged ---
    Four (ish) amendments today, of which the first and the last might be interesting in particular.

    First one's the first time a second referendum has been floated in the Commons. Last one need not be explained, I don't think.
     
  18. Erandil

    Erandil Minister of Magic

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    Eh, the vindictive part of me says that if the UK really wants to go through with this non-enforced border non-sense for any amount of time and doesn't get killed by bad press etc. due to its effects the EU should really build one or two refugee centres along the border for people landing in italy and greece and I am confident that within days or even hours of such an announcement the border would be closed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  19. Nevermind

    Nevermind Professor

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    That was, in a somewhat similar form, one of my thoughts as well. One of the more charitable ones, actually.

    I‘m still in love with the history and variety of sights, languages and culture(s) the UK has to offer, as I have been for the past ten years or so, but I‘m less and less inclined towards goodwill in my daily perusal of the latest calamities.
     
  20. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    The House of Commons has formally voted to look to ask for an extension to Article 50, with a couple of branching paths to walk from here. The ball is in the EU court - mostly - now. Here's an explainer.

    The risk of no deal has probably gone down a bit now, but May's going to have to do some swift talking (or have someone do it for her, because her voice has taken a leave of absence) to explain what would be done with an extension.

    As an addition, Bercow's tie du jour:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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