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This is important for persuading existing MPs to support a "people's vote", but not as important as the attitude of people in Tory held marginal Constituencies Labour would have to win in order to get an overall majority at the next GE - if Corbyn were to get his preferred outcome of another GE.

However, it seems to me that the Fixed Term Act makes it almost impossible for anyone to force an early general election even if the current government cannot obtain a majority for its Brexit deal, or indeed any Brexit deal at all. May could, if she wished, continue in office as a lame duck PM unable to pass critical legislation and consequently allow the UK to drift into a no deal Brexit by default.

If a majority of the Commons oppose this their only recourse to break the logjam would be to pass the final decision back to the people by way of a second referendum. It will take some time before we get to that point, but it seems the logical end point.

If the DUP/hard Brexiteers want to prevent such an outcome (and risk of no Brexit), their only option is to hold their noses and vote for May's deal as the only way of ensuring any sort of Brexit happens at all. Indeed May's strongest argument for her deal is to say that the alternative is a People's vote which might very well lead to no Brexit at all.

Basically, everyone's been boxed in, by accident or design. The EU had an incentive to offer a very poor deal if it still hoped that the UK might change their mind. Failing that they have demonstrated that nothing beats full membership and that any country considering leaving should think carefully about its options. Further, it has stood by an existing small member (Ireland) providing it with a negotiating leverage it could only dream of on its own.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 at 03:18:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've decided that May's timing, delivering a sketchy Brexit agreement at the last workable minute, is the essence of her strategy : stampede her MPs into rubber-stamping an accord they haven't read.

It's not much of a plan, but what else did she have to work with?

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

by eurogreen on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 at 05:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She will try to force a vote before Xmas, before hard-line constituency Tories have a chance to really get to work on her MPs. Problem is, I still can't see where she will get the votes to win.

So we could be entering the new year without a deal and without an obvious way of resolving the impasse. It is not even clear what concessions the EU could offer to secure a majority.

Maybe May is hoping a looming no-deal Brexit will concentrate minds wonderfully, if not for her deal, then for the only alternative which is a second referendum.

Problem is, would Corbyn go for it when his obvious preference is for an election? I can't see May being allowed by even loyal back benchers to agree to a GE, so a second referendum it would probably have to be.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 at 07:29:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here we go...
Brinkspersonship in Brussels
Theresa May is to make an emergency dash to Brussels on Saturday to complete the Brexit negotiations after the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, threatened to pull the plug on the Sunday leaders' summit.

As she emerged from talks in Brussels lasting nearly two hours with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, the British prime minister admitted that there were some major issues to resolve.

It's all going according to May's timetable...
The current UK political sequence would certainly have ended with May's head on a pike, had she presented Parliament with the detailed "end status" statement she needs the EU Council to agree to on Sunday. The plan is, she gets some sort of apparent trade concession, which is supposed to cover the shame of coming home with a perpetual rule-taking customs union... Good luck with that.

Next week will (also) be fun in Westminster!

Minutes of last week's fraught cabinet meeting obtained by the Daily Telegraph underlined the concerns of some ministers about the deal.

The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said that it risked becoming a "Turkey trap" - a reference to the country's drawn-out negotiations to enter the bloc.

Well-spotted! And guess who the turkey is? (he's such a Jeremy)

Oh, and Gibraltar. Quite likely the Council, in order to preserve unity, will support the Spanish demand for a veto on trade arrangements applying to the Rock. Well-timed, Mr Sánchez.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 22nd, 2018 at 09:02:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gibraltar spat holds up Brexit
"No one wants to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement. That would lead to the crumbling away of the whole Brexit agreement and lead us all into no-man's land," the diplomat said. "If they want solidarity they must be sensible," said another diplomat.

Madrid is demanding tighter wording in the text to make clear that negotiations on the future relationship between Gibraltar and the EU will be conducted separately to those between the U.K. and EU -- and that they can only proceed with Madrid's approval. But two diplomats said that the Council's legal service made clear that there's no need to specify this.

However  "as of today, if there are no changes with respect to Gibraltar, Spain will vote no to the agreement on Brexit," Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Tuesday.


Also:
"It seems Sánchez has his eyes on the elections in Andalusia," said one of the diplomats, referring to the region which goes to the polls on December 2. It is the first major electoral test for the country's ruling Socialist party since Sánchez took power in June.
by Bernard on Thu Nov 22nd, 2018 at 07:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of Jeremy Hunt, remember his off the cuff comments likening the EU to the Soviet Union.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Soviet-born (Lithuanian) EU Commissioner for Health was not impressed. Still isn't.


by Bernard on Thu Nov 22nd, 2018 at 07:59:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank: If the DUP/hard Brexiteers want to prevent such an outcome (and risk of no Brexit),

We've debated this several times: The default alternative to the deal negotiated with the EU is not 'no Brexit', it is Brexit without a deal.

by Bernard on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 at 07:42:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is that if Brexiteers want to avoid a second referendum and the risk that people might vote to stay in EU they will have no option but to support May's deal as a way of pre-empting that risk.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 20th, 2018 at 01:01:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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