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Brexit: A new political dynamic is unleashed

by Frank Schnittger Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 01:30:55 PM EST

The High Court has found that the UK Government cannot trigger Article 50 "by Royal Prerogative" but must seek the approval of Parliament first:

The government had argued that it could invoke article 50 without parliamentary approval, using royal prerogative, a set of executive powers. The court found, however, that because article 50 triggers an irreversible process leading to Brexit after two years, it overturns the 1972 European Communities Act, which brought the UK into the Common Market.

"The most fundamental rule of the UK's constitution is that Parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses. As an aspect of the sovereignty of Parliament, it has been established for hundreds of years that the Crown -i.e. the Government of the day - cannot by exercise of prerogative powers override legislation enacted by Parliament," the court said.

The government argued that MPs who passed the 1972 act intended that the Crown should retain its prerogative powers to withdraw from the EU treaties. But the court rejected the argument, saying there was nothing in the 1972 act which supported it. And the judges accepted the main argument against the government, that EU membership conferred rights on UK citizens which the government could not remove without parliamentary approval.

The government has said it will appeal the decision, but presuming that decision is upheld by the Supreme Court, a whole new political dynamic will be unleashed. A clear majority of MPs voted remain in the referendum, and while many, including Jeremy Corbyn, have said that the will of the people must be respected, a vote on the matter ensures they will have to "own" the consequences of invoking A50. The Government's lack of a clear negotiating strategy will be laid bare, and the opposition have the opportunity to re-open the question should they decide to do so.


Jeremy Corbyn now becomes the pivotal figure in the emerging new dynamic. If he retains his pro-Brexit stance, it seems to me that invoking A50 is likely to be supported by a majority in Parliament.  However if he, as Leader of the Opposition, decides that the 48% who voted Remain, also deserve some representation, then all bets are off.  It remains possible that the Tory Remainers will be whipped into line and that the Government will retain its majority, but it wouldn't take many to "vote with their consciences" to overturn the slim Government majority in Parliament.

So what might prompt Jeremy Corbyn to change his position? Firstly, the left who have always opposed the EU have done so not so much out of principle, but out of opposition to the increasingly corporatist, globalist, neo-liberal and neo-conservative trends in EU policy - trends, it might be said, which were in many ways led by the Tories and the Blairite wing of the Labour Party. Stating that Labour, instead of invoking A50, would instead convene a Europe-wide conference of progressive parties to reverse those trends in the EU would be not so much a reversal of principle, but of strategy.  Corbyn can state that the people were right to reject the EU as it is currently configured, but that the UK can exercise more influence over its destiny by reforming the EU from within.

Secondly, it is clear from the EU's unanimous response to the referendum, that invoking A50 is a one way ticket to hell. As Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny said yesterday

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has forecast "vicious" negotiations over Brexit, reflecting a belief in Government circles that the British have underestimated the level of antagonism towards them across the European Union.

Top-level sources in Government believe there is little appreciation on the part of the UK government of the level of hostility they are likely to face once prime minister Theresa May triggers article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

New trading arrangements between the UK and the EU will have to be agreed by the remaining 27 member states and there are signs that at least some of those countries are determined to drive a hard bargain.

"What the British don't seem to understand is that many of the countries in eastern Europe are deeply hurt and angry at the outcome of the Brexit referendum, particularly at the way their nationals were targeted as undesirable immigrants," said one Government source.


Basically, the UK Government loses almost all bargaining leverage and control once A50 is triggered, and can be held to ransom by any number of Eastern European and other members states angered at their behaviour towards their citizen's or with other axes to grind.  A negotiation on the future of the EU without invoking A50 once again places the UK in an influential position. Corbyn can always claim that he reserves the right to invoke A50 should those discussions prove fruitless, but at least he has bought himself some time.

Thirdly, it has become clear, since the Referendum, that Brexit puts the whole future of the UK in doubt. The Scots Nationalists are already talking about another Referendum on independence, and the Northern Ireland parties are beginning to look at alternatives:

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the forum should "not be about a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit. It needs to be about moving beyond the consequences of Brexit and looking at alternatives." He said his party wanted a referendum on Irish unity, but also suggested a "designated special status" for Northern Ireland, citing other unique EU arrangements such as Denmark and Greenland.
Corbyn could present himself as a unifier seeking to unite all of the UK as opposed to the English dominated Tories and UKIP who risk tearing it apart.

Fourthly, it is clear that the referendum has unleashed all sorts of neo-fascist, racist, xenophobic and bigoted forces in the UK.  A progressive Labour leader really doesn't want to be competing for that sort of vote. They will vote for UKIP or the Tories whatever Labour does.  The 48% of the electorate who voted Remain, on the other hand, have no one to vote for other than the Lib Dems, Scottish Nationalists or Sinn Fein. Labour have an electoral opportunity to capitalise on their disenfranchisement and represent their concerns.

Finally there is evidence that progressive Labour policies are what the electorate really want, not Brexit. The real reason for the Brexit vote

A comprehensive new study shows that austerity, not immigration, was the main reason people voted for Brexit back in June. But the media appears to have ignored the findings, with a brief report on Indy100 being the only mainstream coverage.

----snip

The report echoes the comments from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said the vote was born of "inequality", "feelings of powerlessness", and "austerity budgets". Previous findings from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) also chime with the University of Warwick analysis. The JRF found that those in the poorest areas were much more likely to vote Brexit.

I have no doubt that Theresa May will "go to the country" and call a general election if she loses the A50 vote in Parliament. Indeed, given the disarray in Labour and UKIP and her own lack of a personal mandate, it is a prospect she might very well welcome. The UK economy is still doing better than the doom mongers projected, and much of her party and support base is caught up in a full blown nationalist hysteria over Brexit. She would undoubtedly expect to win.

However if Corbyn and the Labour party were to present a coherent alternative based on ending austerity policies, reinforcing the integrity of the UK, and reforming the EU, I suspect that even some Leave voters might swallow their pride and give it a go. After all, the current government haven't exactly been demonstrating great competence or presenting a coherent alternative to that point of view. Brexit will be Titanic success

Boris Johnson has said Britain will make a "Titanic success of Brexit" and compared himself to the dog strangled by Michael Heseltine as he collected a comeback of the year at the Spectator Awards on Thursday night.

---snip

"It sank," said former chancellor George Osborne, who was presenting Johnson with his award.

Display:
Stating that Labour, instead of invoking A50, would instead convene a Europe-wide conference of progressive parties to reverse those trends in the EU would be not so much a reversal of principle, but of strategy.  Corbyn can state that the people were right to reject the EU as it is currently configured, but that the UK can exercise more influence over its destiny by reforming the EU from within.

I hope Corbyn reads ET. That would be a better solution for everyone, on both sides of the Channel.


We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 04:30:20 PM EST
I don't think Corbyn's opinion matters as much as you might think. He still has no mandate as far as the Parliamentary Labour party are concerned, so any attempt on his part to lead the anti-brexit faction is doomed to failure. Plus, he is not a natural bridge builder and so organising the necessary consensus among the opposition parties would be largely beyond him.

I think it will fall to the LibDems, who are the most consistent supporters of the EU.

However, the attitude of the SNP will be important. Do they want to support an anti-brexit position which will damage their long term strategy of independence?

With the Tory remainers, there is probably a good majority for remain within Parliament but whether their narrow agenda coincide is another matter entirely.

Too soon to tell

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 04:30:39 PM EST
Guardian
Jo Murkens at the LSE blog says the ruling was a "proper drubbing" for the government.

    The High Court's decision is exemplary in its clarity and reasoning. Anyone interested in a tutorial on the UK constitution should read the first 56 paragraphs. The legal challenge was not supposed to be a major obstacle for the government. All it needed to assert and defend were the UK's own constitutional requirements. In failing to understand the constitution of its own country, the government was taught an embarrassing lesson by the High Court on the Strand.




Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 04:44:48 PM EST
so, it seems that if the Government changes its plea to suggesting that the invocation of A50, which the EU says irrevocable, can be revoked during the process then maybe they can sneak it though.

Awkward

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 06:19:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but supreme Court might refer that question to the ejc... Irony of ironies

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 06:54:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh please please please

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 07:14:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
pretty please with a cherry on top with 100s and 1000s

pleeeeeaaaaasssssse !!!!!!

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 07:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian
Albert Sanchez-Graells, a law lecturer, says on his EU economic law blog that he thinks the appeal to the supreme court will lead to the European Court of Justice (or the Court of Justice of the European Union - CJEU) getting involved.

    Now, in case of an appeal of the High Court's decision before the UKSC, in my opinion, the referral to the CJEU is legally unavoidable (I will not deal for now with arguments of judicial politics or pragmatic views on the UKSC's likely course of action). Even if the parties do not challenge or even raise to the UKSC's consideration the matter of the (ir)reversibility of and Article 50 notification, it is a logical given that the UKSC needs to take a stance (even if implicit) on this point in order to be able to rule on the case. If it quashes the High Court's decision, it needs to clarify the points of law which the High Court would have gotten wrong--one of which concerns the irrevocability of an Art 50 notification. if it upholds the High Court's decision, it is (implicitly) accepting the assumption that an Art 50 notification is irrevocable. Either way, the UKSC cannot escape a substantial (implicit) consideration of the interpretation of Article 50.

    In my view, this engages the UKSC's obligation to request a preliminary ruling from the CJEU under Article 267(3) TFEU and not doing so triggers a risk of infringement of EU law by the UK due to the acts (or omission, in this case) of its highest court.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 10:35:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh,my stars. That is a joy unconfined.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 12:45:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I love the comments where UKIP assclown Carswell calls this judicial activism and the Daily Fail goes off on a xenophobic and homophobic rant against the judges (and gets called out for it by the New Statesman).  This is what passes for thought on the Right.  How does the Left keep losing, other than an incessant unwillingness to fight?
by rifek on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 at 09:15:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the left isn't fighting. It's the right and the centre right, both of whom believe in austerity, both of whom are happy to blame the EU, slackers, immigrants, whatever it takes to justify austerity.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 02:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what passes for the left is at best stupid but well-meaning. See Corbyn.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 02:31:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno about well-meaning.

But tbh Corbyn is paralysed because he respects the democratic mandate that brxit has. Which is addled thinking because nobody has defined what brexit was and a lot of people were voting for the fantasy £350 million to go to the NHS.

Also, the left don't like the EU very much, peopl lik Corbyn arn't alliance builders so thy don't fel comfortable with talking to pople with whom they have ideological diffrnces in order to get to agreed objectives and strategies. It's not how he has done business in the past and he can't do it now. So the EU doesn't help him and he probably views it as a necessary inconvenience, but if it went he wouldn't mourn it. So he's not gonna do over much to save it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 04:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In this instance "well-meaning" means they wouldn't be upset if they accidentally helped out ordinary people. A sadly unusual trait in the powerful these days.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 05:16:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a bit unfair to Corbyn. After all he is on record as supporting a renegotiation of the EU agreement if Brexit fails. The objective would be to rein in the neo-liberal approach it currently exhibits. And variations of that approach have been his response for at least a year. And it is looking more and more like Brexit will never even get to Art. 50. Who knows, he may get his chance.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 5th, 2016 at 04:16:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only clear Brexit mandate is to trigger Article 50. It seems pretty clear by now that the political constraints are such that a hard brexit - the UK out of the EU without any agreement - is the most likely outcome. The sooner this is done the better, IMHO.

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 Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:20:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The better for whom - the EU or the UK?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 04:15:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everybody. Just get jt over with.

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 Nov 8th, 2016 at 06:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well that "everybody" certainly doesn't include Ireland in the short and medium terms and in the long term we are all dead...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 06:43:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even from the outside, it looks as though the traditional left is simply fading out in the UK. This is a remarkable outcome of the whole process.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 04:48:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's been badly wounded by the third wayers and  both the tabloids and the  Very Serious media.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 05:17:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, a new left is coming. More inspired by Bernie Sanders and Occupy than many suspect, but the project was protect Corbyn, which has absorbed a lot of energy over the last year.

Now I suspect that it will begin to take on a life of its own. Probably too late to save EU membership but it may be throwing a spanner in the objectives of the brexit right within a few years

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 05:30:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're not disagreeing. The traditional left is fading and a new left is coming. It remains to be seen whether, when, and how it will be able to take power.

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 Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:19:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My experience on this side of The Pond is that the left would rather do street theater or join hands around a campfire and sing "Kumbayah."  They honestly believe this rubbish will accomplish something and defend them against the stormtroopers.
by rifek on Sat Nov 5th, 2016 at 05:06:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly yes. The oppositional left are clueless about practical politics. It's about entertainment, not effectiveness. Too often it's also about opposing specific events and actions instead of setting broader policy goals and taking action towards them.

The reality is that the right are utterly ruthless, and unconstrained by cosy middle class morals. Expect lying, bullying, propaganda wars by the popular press, state-sanctioned violence from the police and possibly the armed forces, infiltration and manipulation, misdirection, blackmail, bribery, and - if all else fails - murder.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 04:03:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is the House of Commons and then there is the House of Lords.

Frank (end everybody else) what are the Lords up to in all this? How likely is it they simply block the whole process?

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 01:31:00 PM EST
Brexiteers already muttering about appointing new Lords to overcome any Lords veto.

I think they're most afraid that slowing down the process will make the costs clearer and eventually stop the process. They're afraid sanity might return.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 02:29:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are not those appointed by the Queen?

Man, this is turning into a real soap opera.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 04:45:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, they can't do anything about the Lords. But they can win a general election with a manifesto commitment to invoke A50. That will hobble the Lords ability to resist it cos they're not able to veto manifesto pledges

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 04:47:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're terrified of the Lords because, as brexit wasn't a manifesto pledge, the Lords is under no obligation to pass the act enabling A50 if they think it's stupid or ill-conceived.

Also, the Lords is stuffed to the gills with legal and Constitutional experts who take their jobs very seriously and who will happily put a stupid Constitutionally and economicially damaging bill like A50 through a shredder. It's quite likely that no two words will be left standing together once they're done.

Yes, they're right to be scared.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 04:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole process of Brexit has just become a farce with pratfalls. Does NO ONE in UK politics ever consider consulting appropriate counsel BEFORE taking or countenancing fundamental aspects of relevant law? And this includes the 'Fourth Estate' - so called.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 02:19:17 PM EST
Should be: "BEFORE taking action or countenancing"

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 02:21:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You remember when, a month ago, the Republicans forced through a bill against Obama's veto just because Obama said it was sstupid?

You remember then, that when it was passed they relaised how stupid it was and tried to blame Obama?

Well, British govt is like that all the time

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 4th, 2016 at 04:37:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So has been the Republican House and Senate leadership since 2008. Did Blair-Brown ever descend to that level of stupidity?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 5th, 2016 at 02:53:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This, from Jeremy Corbyn :
he will only let the PM trigger EU negotiations in a Commons vote if she agrees to Labour's "Brexit bottom line".

He said: "Sorry, but we live in a democracy and the Government has to be responsive to Parliament. It's not my timetable so it's up to her to respond."

Mr Corbyn's bottom lines are:

    UK access to 500 million customers in Europe's single market.
    No watering down of EU workplace rights.
    Guarantees on safeguarding consumers and the environment.
    Pledges on Britain picking up the tab for any EU capital investment lost by Brexit

In practice, "single market" means the four freedoms.

So yeah, spring elections, in all likelihood. Can Labour win against the newly-reempowered tabloids? Or will the UK sink into authoritarianism, with weakening of the separation of powers, and an effective populist dictatorship over the head of parliament?

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

by eurogreen on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 10:00:21 AM EST
Set impossible conditions.  Let her own inevitable failure.  Maintain appearance of supporting "the will of the people" while demonstrating the impossibility of  Brexiteers delivering on their promises.  Let them be hoist on their own petard.

The only way Labour could win a General election is if they made a prior pact to insist on the above with the Lib Dems, and each party agreed not to run candidates against each other - i.e. Labour supporting a Lib Dem candidate where the Lib Dems are traditionally the stronger party, and vice versa. In other words, a joint manifesto and program for government - and a prior agreement to form a coalition.  Happens all the time in other democracies.

Even then they might need Scots Nationalist support to win a majority, but that can be agreed after the election, not before.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 10:33:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no easy way to organise election, because of the Fixed Term Act. May can't just say "Right - election" because that's not how it works any more. The two options are:

  1. A 2/3 majority of all MPs in favour. Unlikely because most Labour MPs know they'll lose their seats.

  2. Two votes of no confidence separated by a fortnight, which may include an election for new leaders for some or all of the parties involved.

At this point May can't even guarantee that she can organise a vote of no confidence in her own government which would allow an election to proceed. (WTF?)

And even if she wins a vote, it's not exactly the most reassuring signal to voters.

She can try to repeal the act. That would probably work, but it won't happen by March.

There's an eccentric fourth option, which is a mass resignation of Tory MPs, followed by a mass by-election. But unless Labour joins in - unlikely - all that would do is cut May's majority even further, with losses to the LibDems, UKIP, and maybe even Labour.

The most likely outcome is a leadership challenge before March - possibly even this year. Not because it would solve anything, but because May is so hopeless at everything that she's become an international liability. She'll keep blustering and u-turning, because that's how she works. But I would be amazed if there weren't plans being made to knife her in the back with someone more accommodating - possibly Boris, who would likely take a more moderate view and organise some kind of extended fudge which gives the UK access to the EEA for ten years or so, possibly with free movement, while the details of a final Brexit are worked out.

By which time it won't matter any more, because all the racist punk pensioners who are causing the problems will have died.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 04:19:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can she not designate a vote to invoke A50 as a confidence vote and hold two votes a fortnight apart to meet that condition?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 08:15:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens if it passes, but doesn't pass the Lords?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 08:44:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Torches and pitchforks.

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 Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:14:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've heard mutterings from dafter leftists that, if reforming the Lords properly is the result of this,  then brexit will have been worth it.

Although this depends on the competence of the reformers, which is hardly a given these days

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Reforming the Lords properly"

When the Lords stopped Blair's plans to extend idefinite detention without trial my opinion of what a "proper" Lords changed somewhat.

Turns out Athenian democracy after the Tyranny of the 30 also instituted a system of checks and balances on the power of the Assembly to prevent it from acting rashly, including a sort of Senate - in the etymological sense of a council of elders.

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 Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:40:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well reforming the house of lords to give it an elected basis might happen faster than Brexit

from page 1 of the Parliament act 1911

And whereas it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation:

as "can't be done immediately" now means for over a century...

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2016 at 04:31:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act allow for failed votes of confidence, or just successful votes of no confidence?

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 Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:24:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need to have the confidence that parliament has no confidence in you. So only successful failures count.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 11:10:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Early parliamentary general elections
  1. An early parliamentary general election is to take place if--
    1. the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in subsection (2), and
    2. if the motion is passed on a division, the number of members who vote in favour of the motion is a number equal to or greater than two thirds of the number of seats in the House (including vacant seats).
  2. The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) is--
    "That there shall be an early parliamentary general election."
  3. An early parliamentary general election is also to take place if--
    1. the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in subsection (4), and
    2. the period of 14 days after the day on which that motion is passed ends without the House passing a motion in the form set out in subsection (5).
  4. The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(a) is--
    "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government."
  5. The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(b) is--
    "That this House has confidence in Her Majesty's Government."
  6. Subsection (7) applies for the purposes of the Timetable in rule 1 in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983.
  7. If a parliamentary general election is to take place as provided for by subsection (1) or (3), the polling day for the election is to be the day appointed by Her Majesty by proclamation on the recommendation of the Prime Minister (and, accordingly, the appointed day replaces the day which would otherwise have been the polling day for the next election determined under section 1).


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 Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:36:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly, Tom Watson, his alleged deputy but in reality a dogged ideological foe, has said that he cannot see the Labour party voting against brexit and the "will of the people".

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 04:23:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really follow UK politics all that closely, but he has always seemed to me a particularly ignorant person, almost a throwback to the 1950's... A toady looking for media approval.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 08:17:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I couldn't disagree. He became deputy because, during the Miliband era, he was quite dogged in his pursuit of the phone hacking scandal and attacked Murdoch frequently. This made him quite popular with the party membership.

but he makes every other indidcation of being a very average thinker. Sadly, Parliament is voer-loaded with them. Once we charaterized the Tories as the stupid party, but these days a lot on the Labour side are hard working but otherwise talentless

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've talked to him a couple of times, he was Gordon Browns enforcer in the party so is seen as not being on the Blairite side, and if theres one way to describe him its not a toady to the media. They and him hate each other with a passion (it dates back to when he was on the media select committee looking into tabloid dodgyness, and Murdochs henchmen paid private investigators to investigate the committee and their families. having had wife and kids followed its personal)

That having been said I don't entirely trust him.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2016 at 04:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Elections before March, so that a reelected PM May can trigget Art. 50 happily.

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 Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:22:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still not seeing it, unless both Labour and Tory MPs agree to commit electoral suicide. Which is always possible in Labour's case, but not quite a given yet.

But assuming an election somehow happens -  It's unlikely the Tories will win a clean majority.

May's strategy is to peel off the working class chavs and racists from Labour and convert them to Kipper-Lite Tory votes. That's a good plan, and it seems to be working for now. But it may be less successful next year when prices have gone up by >10% and everyone is feeling poorer. Meanwhile the Kippers will be angry that they still don't have their Brexit. And the anti-Brexit forces on all sides should have mobilised, which will put Tory MPs on notice in strong Remain constituencies.

The final balance is anyone's guess. UKIP voters are notoriously stupid, so it's quite likely they'll split the Brexit vote in some safe Tory seats and allow LDs or even Labour to win.

May has a significant lead in theory, but the constituency distribution won't follow the usual patterns, so there will be hand-to-hand political fighting in many safe Tory seats to prevent Brexit.

She's an utter fool, so she may believe she's going to walk it. That seems possible now, but I wouldn't be so confident a few months into next year.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 11:26:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian/Obersever - Editorial - The Observer view on the high court ruling on Brexit and parliament

It has become painfully clear since June's vote to leave the European Union that Theresa May's government and its supporters have little or no idea where the country is heading. Lacking a plan or a shared philosophy, they are united by an arbitrary and destructive rush to the exit. Their hysterical reaction to last week's unanimous high court ruling that Britain cannot quit the EU without parliament's consent also reveals extraordinary ignorance about where we, as a country, have come from. It is dismaying that those who campaigned so passionately to reclaim British sovereignty appear not to have the first idea about their country's long-established constitutional arrangements.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 04:30:12 PM EST
In fairness the Tory government have an entirely consistent political programme, ME ME ME...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 6th, 2016 at 08:18:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
None of this would have happened if Cameron had triggered Article 50 the day after the referendum.

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 Nov 6th, 2016 at 09:37:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or the process would be in disarray as the EU tried to work out what to do with an Article 50 notification given outside the constitutional requirements of the member state. What fun that would be!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 7th, 2016 at 08:07:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that would have been a political fait accompli. It would be much harder to argue against the constitutionality retrospectively. A50 would have had de facto standing.

But Cameron, being the professional he is, shrugged, said "Why should I deal with this?", and walked away.

So now we have Farage - that true English patriot - planning a 100,000 kipper march on the Supreme Court as they deliberate, to let them know how much more important he is than the constitution.

It's going to be interesting to see how many people actually turn up to a march in London in December. Given most kippers are of pensionable age, not many, I'd guess.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 7th, 2016 at 02:09:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, It's not really for the Commission to second guess the constitutionality of UK Government actions.  That would be a matter for the ECJ, if the matter was referred to them by the Supreme Court. I have read that even a speech by the UK Prime Minister, to the effect they were hereby invoking A50, would have been sufficient for the Commission to begin the formal process.

Whether the constitutionality of invoking A50 could have been subsequently challenged in the UK Courts in that instance would be an interesting question, as a successful appeal would have the effect of un-invoking A50.  Now why didn't May think of that?  It would have given her a fall-back if the negotiations weren't going well.  Mind you the Commission would have been pretty pissed at the UK for wasting its time.

At some point the ECJ may well be asked to rule on whether an invocation of A50 can be un-invoked in any circumstance, whether the original invocation was done constitutionally or not. Interestingly,

... Lord Kerr, who devised the clause, said the country "might want to think again" when Brexit terms become clearer.

He explained: "It is not irrevocable.

"You can change your mind while the process is going on.

"During that period, if a country were to decide actually we don't want to leave after all, everybody would be very cross about it being a waste of time.

"They might try to extract a political price but legally they couldn't insist that you leave."

One might ask why, if he intended it to be revocable, he didn't add a clause to that effect.  Also, what matters is not what it's supposed author intended, but what the high contracting parties to the Treaty which ratified it intended.  And that can only be determined by the ECJ, whose view may be more reflective of the views of the EU28 at the time. Whatever way you look at it, the absence of an explicit provision for un-invoking an A50 makes any attempt to do so - in the absence of unanimous agreement by EU28 - a very dubious course to rely on.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 7th, 2016 at 03:20:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frankly, with all the kerfuffle going on, I wouldn't be surprised if the EU were to decide that May's speech that she intended to invoke A50 before the end of March would be their excuse to start the clock on April Fool's Day regardless of whether the UK is ready

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 7th, 2016 at 03:38:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt he or anyone really thought this through. Of course it's completely reasonable to expect a country intending to invoke A50 to make a plan and define its own position before giving the word.

Unless that country is the UK, in which case it's a hopeless fantasy.

Realistically, revocation won't depend on the law - which is perfectly ambiguous - so much as the size of the hole in the EU made by a potential Brexit. Given that Germany, France, Ireland and others are looking to pick up British City business and perhaps manufacturing too, that hole may turn out to be negative.

It doesn't help that after this fiasco no one is expecting an outpouring of friendliness and sympathy in the UK's general direction.

On the up side, the EU seems to have reasonable asylum and refugee policies. It probably doesn't take that long to cross the Channel Tunnel if you steal a golf cart and bring a packed lunch.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 03:59:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The disruption of Brexit to Ireland would make us perfectly happy to avoid it - Ireland is looking to offset side effects really.

I guess it depends how stupid the rest of the EU are being. Which probably means they'll be working on plans to unmoor the UK and float it westwards.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 10:54:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A LibDem MEP has proposed Associate Citizenship for (cough...) "Former Member States" which would allow residence and freedom of movement.

I can't imagine it going through, but it would be hilarious if it did.

Brexiters are furious because "It discriminates against anyone who voted against the EU."

Which looks like a joke, but it highlights the passive aggressive self-harm element of Brexit. It's not just about leaving the EU, it's about making the pro-EU people suffer as much as everyone else will.

If the liberal elites are going to slip away to their Tuscan villas and holiday homes on the Algarve whenever they feel like avoiding a patriotic riot, what's the point?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 10:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't think the court would get involved at all, but there you go.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 7th, 2016 at 04:38:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Court probably wouldn't get involved unless specifically requested to do so by the UK Supreme Court to rule on the question of whether an A50 invocation is revocable. It is the ultimate arbiter of European law as contained in the Treaties. The UK government made a mistake in not contesting that question in its High Court defence but might change its position on appeal to the Supreme Court - to laughter all round...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 7th, 2016 at 06:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Current position:

Article 50 author Lord Kerr says Brexit not inevitable - BBC News

"Government lawyers also made clear in legal proceedings before the High Court that, as a matter of firm policy, notification of withdrawal will not be withdrawn."

But yes, if they are going to the ECJ anyway, bringing the question of if Article 50 ntoifications can be withdrawn would be good.

If I understand correctly, Labours current position is for a second referendum after the Article 50 negotiations are done. So knowing if that can be done would be practical.

by fjallstrom on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 10:00:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd be amazed if that was Labour's policy, although right now Labour's general cluelessness is becoming irritating so I wouldn't be entirely surprised.

The EU have said time and again that, once A50 is invoked, it cannot be undone. I think it's way past time that people started believing that they mean it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 12:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tusk has said the opposite, in fact. And until the ECJ rules, we won't know if it is or not - and neither will anyone else.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 12:54:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Labour Party's official Brexit policy is to try and block Brexit - Business Insider Nordic
That is because it seems Labour finally reached an agreement on what its Brexit policy should be at the party's conference in Liverpool.

Party members voted unanimously to adopt a policy which threatens to derail Britain's withdrawal from the 28-nation bloc. It was one of a number of resolutions on Labour's approach employment rights.

Here is what was agreed:

    "Unless the final settlement proves to be acceptable, then the option of retaining EU membership should be retained. The final settlement should therefore be subject to approval, through Parliament and potentially through a general election or referendum"

Ok, it was weaker then I remembered with Parliament and/or election or referendum, but the question about article 50 remains.

And I agree with Colman, if it comes down to it, it is the ECJ that will decide if you can withdraw your withdrawal application. Which is why it would be sane to find out sooner rather then later. Then again, that which is sane is often not what happens.

by fjallstrom on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 01:38:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 8th, 2016 at 07:25:32 PM EST


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