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Presuming May wins by a substantial margin this could actually strengthen her position as the rules prevent another leadership challenge within 12 months. It could also expose the Brexiteers as the minority sport they represent.

What is less clear is how this changes anything, beyond making the No Deal Brexit a Brexiteer leader might pursue less likely. I doubt it will make May's current deal any more likely to pass the Commons.

Perhaps EU leaders will throw her some bones, if they are now more confident she will still be around for at least a few more months. However they have little incentive to do so, because there is little they can offer that would make Commons acceptance any more likely.

So it is really up to May to come up with her next trick. She may procrastinate until the new year in the hope that sentiment changes, but that seems unlikely too.

So a second referendum may well be her only "get out of jail card", once every other option has been exhausted. AS=s Churchill said "the US always does the right thing - after it has exhausted every other option".

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 07:24:18 PM EST
The EU leaders have to be fed-up with May, the Tories, and the entire Brexity mess.  I don't know what the diplomatic wording for "fuck off" is but I'm sure they are considering it.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 07:32:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having May win the confidence vote may destroy the brexiteers as a force within the Tory party, but I really don't think it strengthens May.

As you say, her plan is dead in the water and Parliament have seized control of the brexit process via the Grieve amendment. She is in office but, for brexit, she is no longer in power.

the problem is that there is no time to organise an alternative. So we have 3 choices;- no brexit, May's deal or no deal. Neither of the latter will get through Parliament, so prepare for referendum II.

And god help us if we vote leave again.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You really think there's a chance May will back down and have another referendum?


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 11:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't "no BREXIT" and "May's deal" one and the same choice?

In fact, isn't this the most direct, polite question to the people.

May the UK government accept the Withdrawal Agreement from the EU?
YES or NO
(Choose one response)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 07:59:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't "no BREXIT" and "May's deal" one and the same choice?

:- the answer to that very question demonstrates the philosophical fault line that runs right down the centre of the Conservative party and down the middle of the entire population.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 02:27:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems to me that a fruitful line of argument might to argue that whatever your opinion on leaving the EU is, that this process has been totally screwed up, Article 50 needs to be withdrawn and a good long rethink needs to be had.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 02:56:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, the brexit process was doomed the moment the Tories got involved.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 04:36:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no option for a rethink. The ECJ ruling specifically excludes revoking A50, having a bit of a think and making some hard plans, and sending another A50 letter.

If the UK is in, it's in permanently.

Of course Brexiters don't understand this, but they don't understand anything - including how to stage a successful coup - so there's no point worrying about them now.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 11:16:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No it doesn't. The EU can't fuck around with internal constitutional processes like that, no matter what the UK propaganda machine says.

You can't withdraw subject to conditions, and you can't weasel the withdrawal of the A50 process and it might be a really bad idea to resubmit an A50 notice a week later, but if you go off and institute internal processes without a predetermined outcome that might result in an A50 notice in five years time or might result in something else they can't do anything about it.

I'm pretty sure Council would go for this too, in the expectation that the whole idea would die in the process.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 10:02:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Because early next year the EU is going to decide that A50 has to be clarified and amended to remove all possible ambiguity about what can and can't happen, in what order, and also to close the loophole opened by the ECJ ruling which might make it possible to use A50 as a negotiating tactic.

This will probably also lead to all kinds of other legislative changes. We'll see.

I also expect the EU to realise it needs to do a much better job of promoting itself in countries like the UK where the press has been allowed to create a hostile xenophobic environment.

So whatever happens constitutionally, it's going to become much harder for the UK to decide it wants to try to leave again - both internally and externally.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 10:49:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is going to propose treaty changes to reduce sovereign power next year? I look forward to that.

I still don't understand how A50 is meant to become a negotiating tactic. I don't see how that works. I don't see how the UK example makes it the case. This was always the most likely, most obvious interpretation of whether an A50 notice could be cancelled.


I also expect the EU to realise it needs to do a much better job of promoting itself in countries like the UK where the press has been allowed to create a hostile xenophobic environment.

Oh yes. I think the days of allowing governments blame the EU for things their people don't like and taking credit for the stuff they do are probably over.

In the unlikely case that a rethink still wanted Brexit in five years time, I think a different sort of A50 process would have to be found, because A50 is a piece of shit.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 10:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm confused about this argument. Joining the EU is a treaty. A country can unilaterally withdraw from a treaty, or can withdraw under some specific condition of the treaty--in this case, the A50 rules.

  • If the withdrawal is unilateral, then re-entry into the treaty is at the whim of the other side--the EU in this case. A country cannot "demand" to be let back into a treaty that it has withdrawn from. That would over-ride the sovereign power of the other side (the EU countries).

  • If the withdrawal is under the treaty rules, then re-entry may also be controlled by those rules (or, the treaty may be silent on re-entry rules). The withdrawing country may or may not be able to obtain re-entry, depending on what the treaty rules say.
by asdf on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 01:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The country has not withdrawn from the treaty until the two year period has expired. Until March 30th nothing has changed in law, they are still members. They continue to be, on the same terms as before if they withdraw the A50 notice.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 01:56:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that the A50 judgement was determinedly apolitical and minimal: it was the simplest judgement that made sense without interfering politically - and rebuffed the EU institutions who were looking for more power over the process.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 10:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but she may not have a choice.

She doesn't have the support of 1/3 of her party. Her majority relies on a handful of far-right DUP kooks who don't support her backstop plan.

When she loses her vote - which she will - she can either call a General Election, she can push through and lose a vote of No Confidence, or she can put the question back to the voters.

For someone who wants to cling on to power at any price, the last of those is by far the most attractive option.

Her only get-out would be a referendum with no Remain option - but that would probably trigger a No Confidence vote too.

At this point, her choices are very limited.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 09:00:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's how I see it.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 12:38:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or she loses the Agreement vote sometime in January.  Wastes a couple of weeks fiddling around trying and failing to get the EU to agree to substantial changes, e.g., the backstop.  Then a round or two of domestic silliness saying "The People have chosen" and "Brexit is Brexit" and "The UK will not be held hostage to {sneer} Ireland & etc until time runs out.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 05:11:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, people are beginning to tumble that May is just kicking the can down the road till March 29th. But I suspect she won't get a chance to repeat her trick of pretending to have a debate and then whipping the ball away before the Commons get a chance to kick it out.

I think there will be a vote on 21st Jan and then the Grieve amendment will kick in and Parliament will attempt to take charge. At that point I imagine Constitutional experts will begin to earn their pay.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 05:43:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now there's a recipe for ... (thinking of the right word) .... disaster.  

Nothing like an foreign policy crisis, an economic crisis, AND a political crisis all at the same time being "handled" by a group one half of which can't find their arse with both hands.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 05:52:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's quite likely a coalition of Labour and a handful of the saner Tories - there aren't many, but there are a few - will eventually realise the only way to stop the train wreck is to bring down the government and revoke or extend A50.

Labour are already talking to the DUP. Of course Labour and the DUP are hardly natural allies, and it's quite likely the talks will go nowhere. But the fact that there are talks at all is mind-bending, and shows how far we are from any kind of business as usual.

Buck Palace is also making concerned noises.

May is on the thinnest ice imaginable, and almost the entire UK Establishment is quietly lining up to oppose her.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 11:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's more likely the UK is going to find itself out on its collective asses on March 30th, stunned that actions have consequences and stupid actions have stunningly stupid consequences.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 01:40:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NO!
In making a pledge not to lead the Tories into another general election, she has effectively taken that option off the table. Logically, if she loses a confidence vote in the Commons, she would have to resign as leader to prevent that eventuality from happening.

At that point the UK is drifting towards no deal unless someone - Grieve, May, Corbyn or May's replacement - takes the lead and proposes legislation for a second referendum. It would be interesting to see, at that point, who votes for and against it.

Even Brexiteers have been saying that "no one voted for a Brexit that would make them poorer", and no one other than a few ultras campaigned for a no deal Brexit. So even May could argue that what is on offer now is no longer the Brexit people originally voted for, so they need to be consulted again to make sure that that is the Brexit they really want.

If Parliament exercises its constitutional prerogative to determine a no deal Brexit is unacceptable then the only choices to be put to the people are May's deal - the only deal the EU will offer - or Remain. recent polling has Remain majority rising to 18%, so a clear and decisive vote for Remain would end the debate for another generation.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 05:55:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having agreed she will not lead the Tories into another general election, she has more or less taken the snap general election option off the table for her. So when she loses  the Commons vote she will have two choices - resign and make way for a Brexiteer PM who will pursue a no deal Brexit, or put the issue to a second referendum - for which she would still need Corbyn's support to agree the wording and pass the necessary legislation. But will he agree?

If the choice is May's deal or Remain, he would be in the awkward position of campaigning for Remain - not for the first time - but at least this time he can say he can always trigger A50 again if the EU doesn't agree to his ideas for reform. But for Corbyn the odds are probably better if a Brexiteer becomes PM, because then he can force through a vote of no confidence with the support of Remainer Tories and win the ensuing general election on an anti-no deal platform.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 12:37:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your comment illustrates the extraordinary convolutions of British political "strategy" which seems to exist in an EU-free vacuum. Or on an island, maybe?

There will not be substantially another agreement with the EU than May's, because the EU (not being the petitioner) is in a situation to lay down its law, and it is not in its interest to give away a great deal more than it has. In the case of a second A50 (after withdrawal of the first), I suggest the EU will be likely to demand more strenuous conditions than in the first instance.

If Corbyn were to believe he could use Brexiteers as a foil to rally Remainer support, leading to a snap general election, and were then to campaign against no-deal but not frankly for Remain, he would end up at least as far up his own fundament as is May currently.

Put simply, if May's "deal" is out (as it probably will be), then an anti-no-deal platform = Remain. Any notion of "negotiating" anything better is illusory.

 

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 01:08:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So if the referendum choice becomes May's deal or Remain, and Remain wins, after all the shite endured during the past two years, all the time and collective efforts put into fulfilling the Eton-bred wet fantasy of ripping the UK out of the EU, London is going to be: "Hey Europe, let's be palls again. Besties?"

Excuse me while I'll be excessively swearing in a corner.

by Bjinse on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 09:13:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or one could take the alternate Machiavellian view that the Brexit crisis and subsequent climb down has been excellent for EU cohesion and demonstrating the benefits of membership - and conversely in providing a cautionary tale for any euroskeptic parties who might be tempted to pursue a similar course of action.

On the down side it has distracted from urgent reforms  and general business the EU needs to get on with - Climate change, Euro reform, reducing inequality etc. But is there any evidence the EU would have pursued these issues any more urgently in the absence of Brexit? Is it coincidental that there seems to have been a renewed push on signing more trade deals recently?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 07:07:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
believe me, you won't be alone in that corner.

Yes, there will be many sighs of relief, but we will also have to deal with that (possibly ~40%) segment who believe they were cheated of their manifest destiny to make a free (and whiter) britain.

Pandora's box has been torn open. Racism and racist violence is increasing, nazis openly march, a member of Parliament was shot dead on the streets. I honestly thought we'd learned, I honestly thought that unrepentant racists had been reduced to an ineducable rump of malcontents who would die off.

But the rise of ukip, the lionizing of Nigel Farage and his bar stool dog whistling, followed by the media courting of the far more overt Tommy Robinson has shown how complacent I was. Brexit validated these people, people emboldened to wear t-shirts saying "Yes, we won. Now send them home". And the "them" here wasn't about nice white germans or nordic blonds, it was all about coloured people, just like always.

These people feel they are the majority view, released after decades of being held back by an elitist few in the media with their "political correctness". They won't be going back in their box anytime soon and we'll have to live alongside them for many decades to come.

I once said here that the UK had made every mistake it was possible to make about rce relations, but that we had finally learned and come to terms with them. Well, we made a new mistake and now we're gonna have to re-learn every lesson again, from the beginning.

We will not have gotten away with brexit. It has wrecked Britain, economically and socially.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 07:52:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see any sign that the Brexiteers have been destroyed as a force within the Tory party.

They are back-benchers to start with, and their power is channeled through the popular press. If anything, May's win will encourage them to even more energetically ramp up their noise, knowing that the chance of them being put in the position of cleaning up the mess is even further reduced.

by asdf on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 06:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe, but I can see the television is treating them with a lot less reverence now. They may be names saying things, but nobody now believes that their version of brexit can happen.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 06:54:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Running scared of no-confidence vote? Just throwing a bone to the Tory extremists [Hammond].

May signals she will step down before 2022 election

May's announcement won't make her a strong leader!

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:46:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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