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Little can be done to stop Johnson crashing UK out of EU
Remarkably, we are now in a situation where, in the name of respecting democracy, the UK is headed for a no-deal exit from the EU that is opposed by a majority of voters and a majority of MPs.

Furthermore, the law that governs the removal of a government and calling of an election means that only the narrowest path to avoiding a no-deal remains open.

The House of Commons is now in recess and will not sit again until September 3rd. Imagine that Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, immediately puts down a motion of no confidence which is debated the next day (September 4th) and is passed with the support of moderate Tory MPs. Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, this triggers a period of 14 days during which the government must try to win a second confidence vote. If by midnight on September 18th, Boris Johnson has not won a new confidence vote, then an early election is triggered.

However, the legal rules around timing an early general election give the prime minister sufficient scope to delay the vote until after Brexit takes place on October 31st.

In order for dissolution to occur, the queen must be advised by the prime minister to issue a crown proclamation dissolving parliament. This would not occur before September 19th and the proclamation would not take effect until the next day (September 20th).

Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, an election cannot take place earlier than 25 working days after the dissolution of Parliament. That brings us up to Friday October 25th. UK general elections generally take place on a Thursday meaning the first Thursday available is Brexit day itself, October 31st.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 09:59:41 AM EST
Would Boris Johnson dare to cut the British people out of the decision by holding an election too late to let them express their view? The polls suggest that he would not pay a price for doing so. Under the UK's "first past the post" system, you don't need a majority of voters to win and the minority who favour a no-deal exit is large enough to beat a splintered opposition.

A recent ComRes poll shows that in an election held after the UK has left with no deal, the Conservatives are likely win a majority in parliament with 36 per cent ahead of Labour 29 per cent, Liberals 15 per cent and the Brexit Party on 8 per cent. However, if the election happens after the UK has received an extension of article 50, Labour wins with 28 per cent followed by the Brexit Party on 23 per cent with the Tories and Liberals trailing on 22 per cent and 16 per cent. In other words, uniting the pro-no-deal Brexit minority by exiting before an election would benefit Johnson electorally.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 10:04:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ain't that the way Pfeffle planned it?

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 10:12:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Caroline Lucas has reacted to suggest a Parliamentary coup whereby a govt of National Unity is set up comprising Remain voting MPs of all parties, with her suggesting a Cabinet (led by her of course) of women who are, obviously, more sensible than their male counterparts.

Unfortunately, this would ineviably lead to a Cabinet mostly comprised of pro-austerity privatisers who would (presumably) be perfect to sort out the mess caused by a bunch of pro-austerity privatisers.

Which begs the question : A National unity to do what precisely? Stop a No deal brexit I presume, but how? And replace it with what? The May deal which has been soundly rejected by parliament 3 times? Or stop brexit entirely? This may seem sensible but would probably cause a widespread generational disaffection with UK democracy.

Frankly, even though I'm a staunch Remainer this looks as much of a coup as the one Cummings seems to be proposing to force a No Deal brexit.

I really don't see how you can protect Democracy by subverting democracy anymore than I can understand how you prtect Palriamentary sovereignty by suspending Parliament.

We live in strange times.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 02:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably the "government of national unity" would hold office only long enough to request a further A.50 extension, hold a referendum where no deal and remain are the options, and then, perhaps, hold a general election. Alternatively it could hold office just long enough to request a further a.50 extension on the promise of organising a referendum and then hold a general election to elect a government to carry it out.

In practice, the later option would mean "holding office" for only a few weeks, and the A.50 extension request would be the only act of significance it would carry out.

I can't see Corbyn or his supporters agreeing to anyone but him holding the office of PM, however temporarily, and I can't see many dissident Remainer Tories voting for him.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 02:58:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, Parliament chucking the PM and asking the Queen to appoint a new one is not a coup, it's how your country works. I know this is hard for people in the UK to understand given the constant storm of disinformation, but you don't have a presidential system where the PM is directly elected. Since the Tories and Lib Dems broke the system with the FTPA it's become much harder to kill off governments.

The "all woman" bit is marketing - I've seen the suggestion that it was thrown in to actually get coverage - but at least it raises the issue.

There's nothing undemocratic about either extension + referendum or election or even revoking A50, which doesn't stop Brexit, just means it needs to be restarted, hopefully with an actual plan this time if the polity so chooses.

This may seem sensible but would probably cause a widespread generational disaffection with UK democracy.

Do you see any paths forward that don't do that?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 03:05:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do I see any path forwared that doesn't cause widespread disaffection? Yes, I do. But sadly it means to let this play out; for madness, catastrophe and worse.

After 40 years of right wing government, we have reached (I nearly typed retched) a crisis of government in the UK. It might have been avoided if we hadn't had the referendum, but the moment it was declared, let alone voted upon, we were, in hindsight, obviously doomed.

We need to eradicate, not just the parties, but an entire way of thinking. And to do that we have to rub the noses of the English authoritarians in the mud of where their stupidities go. There is no return to Empire, there won't even be a United Kingdom within a decade.

Alll their dreams of global consequence will turn to ash as they realise that politics isn't about identity, culture or sovereignty, it's about power. Those who have the most, get the most. Those who have little, get nothing. The EU is a powerful economy with a lot of global power while England is a little country and has little of anything. And the Little Englanders need to have that smashed into their skulls with baseball cricket bats.

I do not say this lightly. I fear there will be starvation, riots and national disorder leading to many, many deaths. We cannot save ourselves because there is no way out of the corner we are painted into.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 03:26:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a lot of depressing YouTube videos about daily life in Britain in the 1970s. I first went there in 1976 and was shocked, coming from a suburban US upbringing.

It is hard to believe that nostalgia for that period would be supportable, even through the most powerful rose-colored glasses.

Although apparently there is some nostalgia for the USSR, too. I suppose having social systems that provide basic necessities has some advantages.

by asdf on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 03:54:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tend to look back on it as a period when there was a lot wrong with the UK, but that the solutions offered by thacher were just a cocaine rush that left us in a worse place.

We had cheap housing available for nearly everybody, if there were no jobs, there was a generous benefit scheme that meant that nobody went without food, clothing, warmth or shelter, we had a functioning NHS that kept us all healthy.

Frankly, there's a fuck of a lot of that which would make the US happy right now, let alone the UK.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 04:37:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the nostalgia is more for the 1950s and early '60s, (before the long-hairs took over).

You have to realize that, back then, Typhoo was real tea, Marmite had the proper flavour, Cadbury's Dairy Milk was the way it should be, and my fish and chips came wrapped in newspaper. All of which unelected Brussels bureaucrats have deprived me of.

 

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Aug 13th, 2019 at 08:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only does the UK not have a Presidential system, but it doesn't have a normal parliamentary system where Parliament elects the PM either. The PM is appointed by the Queen, and thereafter she has no choice but to do his bidding, and Parliament doesn't have much control over him either even if it does vote no confidence in him - twice. He can still chose to delay an election until after Brexit day.

The bottom line is that so long as a majority in Parliament can't agree on an alternative plan or leader they are pissing into the wind, or perhaps more accurately, at each other. All their petty squabbles and personal ambitions are more important than stopping what they all claim to be against - a no deal Brexit.

Frankly the entire UK body politic needs to be flushed down the toilet - if they were representing my country I would be utterly appalled.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 04:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 04:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there's only one path out of No Deal.  

Clearly Boris' government doesn't give a damn about a No Deal.

Parliament just won't accept - or cognize - the fact they don't have legislative power over the EU.  So their vote against a No Deal is meaningless.

From what other people here have written, there's no way to prevent Boris, et. al., from forging ahead to a No Deal.  

The path out demands the EU commits suicide.  I'm fairly confident France will veto any move in this direction.  

So: you're fucked.

And speaking of democracy, Brexit is exactly why going to Duh Peepul to give an answer to anything more complicated than "Do You Want Fries/Chips With That?" is a massively stupid idea.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 05:24:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh there is a path out of no deal.

If Boris loses a vote of confidence, the opposition have two weeks to elect an alternative PM designate who can ask for an A.50 extension and announce either a second referendum or a General election.

But could the opposition agree on an alternative PM, even one to serve only 4 weeks to ask for A.50 extension and then call a general election?  Doesn't seem like a lot to ask, but I doubt they could agree on Corbyn, and I doubt he would agree to anyone else...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 06:48:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not a path.  That's a fantasy, if you will excuse me for saying it bluntly.  Corbyn doesn't have the votes to win a No Confidence motion.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 07:23:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are an awful lot of conservatives who are now out of government and have relatively little to lose.

But I agree with you, its a 1% scenario.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 07:29:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well that takes us back to the point I made earlier. Caroline Lucas offers herself as a compromise PM, and  I'd say she could be considered a reasonable honest broker.

But to do what,precisely?

A National Unity to do what precisely?
Stop a No deal brexit I presume, but how?

And replace it with what?
The May deal has been soundly rejected by parliament 3 times
Or stop brexit entirely?

This may seem sensible but would probably cause a widespread generational disaffection with UK democracy.

We stare at the probability of national insurrection in so many directions, I can't begin to see a way out. there are no good options, only some which offer a hope of salvaging something from the mess further down the line.

If we cancel brexit, I guarantee there will be riots and probably armed militia on the streets.

If we delay brexit, we're only kicking that can down the orad and that way lies trouble next year.

If we crash out no deal, there will be food riots by spring.

Perhaps if Boris could get May's deal through, it might be the least worst, but he would not survive the humiliation,. Which means he would never do it cos he's a coward when it comes to that.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 07:29:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which goes back to the original problem: there's no such thing as a Brexit.  There's a horde of mutually exclusive Brexits and May was too fucking stupid to force the Leavers to come-up with a Brexit BEFORE she sent the stupid letter.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 07:52:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, she made a basic constitutional mistake : knowing she couldn't get any obtainable deal through Parliament, she tried to push it through on executive authority alone. It was the only plausible solution, but Bercow stymied her.

Now, only Bercow can save the UK.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 14th, 2019 at 11:15:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ten bucks sez the EU will dream up a reason to give them another extension. "Peace is at hand" or something.
by asdf on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 08:52:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the EU cannot unilaterally give an extension. The UK government must ask for one.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 09:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All the same, communications-wise, the EU would probably be well advised to attempt to throw out a lifeline at the last minute. It would blunt the accusation "EU made me do it".

At least, for those who are listening.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Aug 13th, 2019 at 06:48:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least, for those who are listening

A small crowd, then.

by Bernard on Tue Aug 13th, 2019 at 08:20:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europeans are not entirely subjected to the UK media...

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Aug 13th, 2019 at 08:24:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recall that the reason for democracy is to keep the peasants thinking they have a say in policy--so they won't revolt. The trick is to keep them from actually having a say in policy.
by asdf on Mon Aug 12th, 2019 at 08:54:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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