Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.
I considered this scenario, and perhaps should have included a reference to it in my "most plausible" scenario above.

While the Council may have been receptive to an A50 revocation up until now, it was unclear to me whether any such revocation would have to be accepted unanimously or by weighted majority. In the scenario I paint above, Corbyn only comes into power after the initial A50 notification period has elapsed, after which unanimous decisions are required.

The UK doesn't have a monopoly on headbangers.  In my "most plausible scenario" it is actually Hungary (or some other state relatively less effected by Brexit and less than sympathetic to a Corbyn led UK) which finally pulls the plug even though the vast majority of EU27 members might have been agreeable to a revocation.

The overall point of my scenario is to illustrate that we are moving into complex situation with may moving parts, and that only one thing has to go wrong for a "no deal" Brexit to actually happen, because that is now the default position.

The incompetence of the UK side has been masking some pretty nationalistic and regressive political developments on the EU27 side which could become determinative in the final denouement.

We are now all hostages to fortune.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 10:59:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that if Council accepted an A50 withdrawal that would do. I don't think they even have to - I suspect that the court would find A50 can be unilaterally withdrawn, so you'd be in a position of Hungary taking legal action against Council to throw out the Brits against their will. Good luck with that.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 12:17:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be truly ironic if Corbyn, a lifelong opponent of the EU, were to be the one to revoke A50. To do so he would have to go against the will of the people as expressed in the referendum - something he has said he would not do.  I can't see him doing it unless he commits to doing so in the general election campaign and can thus claim to have a popular mandate for doing so.  That would lose labour their anti-EU voters and revive UKIP.  He could probably win the general election anyway - depending on how bad the Tories look by that stage - but would he take that risk, all for an EU he doesn't believe in?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 02:31:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you could sell a considered approach to leaving in place of a obvious disastrous one as respecting the referendum result. And otherwise he gets the blame for Brexit .
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 02:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a rational and an irrational level to politics, and the irrational level works on "This is good" vs "This is bad".

Before the referendum, the irrational level was sold to our less intelligent voters with the lie that everything that was bad was the fault of the EU.

Now that we're in the middle of the process, it's becoming obvious to softer leavers that the Tories are incompetent idiots.

The Tories have done an astonishingly good job of dramatising that incompetence. And as anyone who has read Bernays will tell you, dramatising a point makes it stick far more persuasively than rational argument.

So the softer leavers are drifting towards blaming the Tories for everything that's bad at the moment - including rising prices, the gig economy, debt, low pay, NHS provision, immigration, and so on.

The vote was supposed to fix all of this and it has - against all expectations - made it worse.

How could this happen? It's a mystery to many. But it's obvious someone is responsible, and it's not the Labour Party, "remoaners", or even the EU.

Other softer leavers are beginning to understand they were lied to. "It wasn't supposed to be like this", they sob.

So in addition to all of May's other problems, she's now having to deal with a slow but increasing wave of public rage which is gradually drifting away from blaming immigrants and towards blaming her and her party.

There's a hard core of thick racist nutcases in the UK who will never change their minds about the EU. But they're a minority. The majority is now swinging away from support for Brexit, and the further it swings, the less of a mandate May has, the harder she'll find it to hold the competing factions in her party together, and the more likely it is that a single weak challenge from an unexpected source will set the whole house of cardboard on fire and bring it crashing down.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 20th, 2017 at 03:50:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIK what you're all calling a Council position on Art 50 reversal is Donald Tusk's personal statement. Though apparently Juncker's chief of staff Martin Selmayr also claims to be "a dreamer". I wouldn't take anything Selmayr says at face value, though.

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 Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 09:14:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No one can be sure, at this stage, how the Council would react to a withdrawal of an A50 letter. I haven't even been able to find out whether that decision would be by unanimous or weighted majority vote.  It is simply unprecedented. I suspect the Council would need to be convinced that the UK has changed it's mind about leaving the EU and isn't simply using the withdrawal of the A50 letter as a tactic to gain two more years of negotiating time. And the only way it could be convinced of that is if a second referendum or another general election produced a victory for a Government supporting remain.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 10:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series