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Probably not. Boris might well need an A.50 extension just to get his Canada+++ deal agreed by the Commons, and failing that, to call a general election. The EU27 might very well not be amenable to an extension, but might be prepared to do so if the alternative to Canada+++ is no deal.

Then, if Corbyn wins the election on the promise of holding a second referendum on whatever deal he negotiates, the EU would be faced with the choice of no deal or the possibility of the whole Brexit project being reversed - should they be prepared to offer an extension sufficient to negotiate a deal and hold a referendum.

Of course this would all run into the European Parliament elections, but there is no reason why those elections cannot be held - in the UK as well - on the understanding that the successful UK candidates will lose their seats whenever/if Brexit occurs. Contingency plans have been drawn up to that effect.

Holding EU parliament elections in the UK in May might also be a useful proxy for a referendum, providing a more authoritative indication of pro/anti EU feeling at that time, although there is also the risk of a high protest vote at how long and difficult the process is proving to be.

However with UKIP currently on 16 seats, and the Liberal Democrats on only 1, it would not be difficult for the pro-EU camp to register very significant gains and thus a psychological advantage heading into a second referendum, if there is to be one.

But as I said above, they whole scenario is littered with so many maybes, ifs and buts, that the net probability of such an outcome must be very low. Possibly as many as 6 sequential key events/decision points would have to go in a particular direction, and if we ascribe an arbitrary 50:50 probability to each one, that results in a net 1 in 128 or a less than 1% probability of a particular end outcome occurring.

For me the key events/decision points are:

  1. Commons approves/fails to approve May deal
  2. May loses/does not lose leadership (possibly by calling a general election before a challenge can take place)
  3. EU approves 3 Month A.50 extension
  4. New leader negotiates Canada+++ deal which is approved/not approved by Commons
  5. General election results in Corbyn win on promise of "better deal" and referendum to decide on it
  6. Second referendum results in vote to remain.

You could add further decision points  - like UK/EU not agreeing any deal in the first place - and you could certainly dispute the odds at each point. But even if we agreed an average 50:50 probability at each point, there is less than a 1% chance of a particular final outcome.

However I think it is worthwhile to work through the various stages a process would have to go through to result in a particular outcome. There are a huge number of possibilities, and as Colman has suggested above, possibly no particular outcome that has a very high probability of occurring.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 4th, 2018 at 08:14:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can stop at step #1--which is unlikely to occur before the holidays and conclusion to debates in both chambers.

To which I must add the ruckus that will ensue were May to exercise the unilateral authority of the government, which you may recall parliament enacted last year.

The EP has already given notice that its members require a settlement document by 6 March plenary session.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Nov 4th, 2018 at 09:04:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is for the Council to decide whether A.50 should be extended, not the Parliament. The House of Lords can delay, but not ultimate veto a decision of the House of Commons. All deadlines can me moved, if there is a will to do so. The threat of a no deal Brexit may persuade some to do so.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 4th, 2018 at 11:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, you work with that.

British want soft Border deal to last just 12 weeks

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Nov 5th, 2018 at 03:34:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You've got to ignore the noise. Raab is playing bad cop trying to keep the Brexiteers on board.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 5th, 2018 at 11:03:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Notice, you've no response to the latest "cherry" picked by Tory gov.

It is for the Council to decide whether A.50 should be extended, not the Parliament.

Look here. This is not the first flow chart or negotiation document from EU that I've posted to remediate UK press trash or call out internal inconsistencies of various theories about how the UK may interpret TFEU rights and responsibilities under the A50.

The European Parliament will be important in determining the final withdrawal agreement. Whilst it has no formal role within the Brexit negotiation process, other than the right to receive regular information on its progress, the Council needs to obtain the European Parliament's consent (Article 50 (2) TEU), voting by a simple majority of the votes cast, before it can conclude the withdrawal agreement.

Therefore, the European Parliament's right to withhold consent to the final agreement offers it political leverage to influence the agreement and effectively makes it a veto player.

Why would the Council nullify the implied right of EU parliamentary consent and explicit withdrawal date of A50 action in order to placate Tory gov -- the first and worst model member to secede from the union?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Nov 5th, 2018 at 09:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not either or. It's the EU Council (by weighted majority), AND the EU Parliament (by simple majority) which must agree a deal. Given that each government has it's own parliamentary processes to go through to agree a deal, the hurdle of getting a weighted majority on the Council is probably a lot tougher than getting a simple majority of the EU Parliament (many of whose members will probably just be delighted to see the back of Farage et al by any means possible).

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 6th, 2018 at 12:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You didn't answer the questions, but introduced a false dichotomy into the political interests of EP and Council in preserving any semblance of democratic EU institutions.

Deflection is Tory talk.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Nov 6th, 2018 at 01:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry Cat, but often I simply don't understand what point you are trying to make, or what questions you would like to see answered. Often, they don't seem relevant, or pertinent to any argument I was trying to make. So the UK government is trying to cherry pick again? Not exactly breaking news...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 6th, 2018 at 04:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An article 50 extension is not likely to exceed 6 weeks in order not to bump into the European elections. Nobody wants the UK to take part in those.

So I still don't believe your scenario fits in the time available.

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 6th, 2018 at 10:30:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
" Nobody wants the UK to take part in those."

Who, and why?

It would be a delicious irony for the UK to have to take part in a democratic exercise in what they claim is a profoundly undemocratic institution.

Frankly, from an EU27 point of view it matters not a damn whether EU Parliamentary elections take place in te UK or not. It could even provide a useful platform for Remainers to keep their campaign on the road in the absence of their preferred second referendum.

The big hole in my scenario is that it requires unanimity to agree an extension, and any country for any reason could block it.  But other than that, other than for reasons of sheer boredom and a wish to move on, there is no constitutional or legal impediment to several extensions, and every reason to agree to them if they increase the prospect of a more favourable outcome from an EU27 point of view.

In the scenario above such an extension would reduce the risk of a no deal Brexit, and even improve the probability of Brexit being reversed.

Most of the deadlines associated with the process are moveable, if people want them to be.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 6th, 2018 at 03:42:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
" Nobody wants the UK to take part in those."

At least not UKIP chief Gerard Batten:

UKIP chief calls colleagues `snivelling quislings'

Fourteen MEPs from across the political spectrum wrote: "Despite our political differences, as U.K. MEPs we are united around one fact: if you wish to allow the U.K. to remain within our EU family, then all ways to do so will necessitate an extension of the Article 50 timetable. Whilst we acknowledge that many details of the next few months remain unclear, it is in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and respect that we ask you, our European friends, to start thinking about this possibility and be ready for this eventuality."

Batten wasn't impressed.

He wrote in response that the Brits who signed the letter "have revealed themselves for what they are. They are a bunch of snivelling quislings who are desperate to keep their seats on the EU Parliamentary gravy train."

by Bernard on Thu Nov 8th, 2018 at 12:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if UKIP can't work up any enthusiasm to stand for the elections, should they happen, even on a Sinn Fein style abstentionist platform, then all the better for everyone else. I could see Remainers dominating the results and greatly increasing the pressure for a second referendum.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 8th, 2018 at 01:27:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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