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When the Attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, said that the deal negotiated by Theresa May last night didn't change the legal risk that Britain could be "trapped" by the backstop, he effectively removed all cover for Brexiteers to change their minds and doomed the deal.

But how could Theresa May have agreed to the deal without checking with him first to ensure he was on board? Just another blow to her credibility and reputation for competence: remember she campaigned for the leadership and in the general election on the basis of being "a safe pair of hands". She has now dropped just about every ball ever thrown at her.

Anyone with any self-respect would have resigned by now. There is no point in anyone even talking to her now as she has shown she can deliver on nothing.

So further negotiations on May's deal are off the table. Only three options remain:

  1. No deal Brexit
  2. General Election
  3. Second referendum

Only 2. and 3. qualify for an A.50 extension.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 08:06:14 PM EST
What would be the timeline? Is the EU going to put up with May asking for a two month (say) extension, which gets it right into the middle of the EU election?
by asdf on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 11:57:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A general election can be called with a Months notice but you would have to allow at least another month for a new government to be formed (assuming there is a relatively clear outcome), ministers to be appointed, and a new policy to be formally communicated to Brussels.

A referendum requires enabling legislation so probably couldn't happen until autumn assuming they can agree on what question should be asked.

So you are talking anything from 2 to 6 months minimum. That would require the UK to participate in the EP elections as it would still be a member in May.

Some observers seem to think that is a legal technicality which can be avoided or overcome, but AFAIK it is a Treaty obligation for members and so can't just be changed even by legislation in the EP.

Personally I don't see what the problem is. Local elections are due in some areas in May anyway, and the EP elections could be a useful dry run for parties aiming to campaign in the referendum.

If Remain supporting parties do better than Leave supporting parties they will get a useful boost, and the whole exercise will help to undermine the Brexiteer "EU is undemocratic" mantra.

As usual turnout will be vital and Remain supporters might well be more motivated to turn out for an EP election.

So if I was the EU I would be insisting on at least 3 months and with the UK committing to participate in the EP elections.  No real change can come in less time.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 01:13:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any evidence May has the votes for #2 or #3?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 01:50:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any evidence May is clear about what she wants on #2 or #3?

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 06:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
May is still in denial, hoping to get her deal through by hook or by crook. It won't happen of course, and only if/when the EU make A.50 extension conditional on #2 or #3 will she even confront the issue.

#2 is like asking turkeys to vote for Xmas, although she may be fooled (for a second time) by her current lead in the polls over Corbyn. However #3 offers a way out. No one can say she wasn't sincere and dogged in her attempt to deliver Brexit and everyone will blame Parliament for being dysfunctional.

Corbyn will only agree to #3 if denied a general election (once again) but between them they should easily have the numbers to pass the required legislation. The problem is will they even be able to agree the wording?  For all the talk of negotiating with Brussels, May and Corbyn have never agreed to work together on anything, and seem almost incapable of doing so. Such is the antipathy.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 09:20:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's time for at least two more parliamentary votes on May's deal.
by asdf on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 02:42:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They can vote every day if they want, but that doesn't mean anything is going to change...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 03:29:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's time for one vote to approve May's deal, and then a second one to change their mind.....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 03:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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