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There wasn't a majority in Parliament for any particular vision of Brexit, but one could have been created.

One can imagine a different approach from May (or someone else being PM) where you start with formulating the options, holding indicative votes in her own Conservative party group, trying to formulate a consensus. Failing that, checking with the opposition parties to formulate a common majority in exchange for influence over the negotiations. Failing that, she could have held indicative votes in parliament to show that there is no majority for any particular visions.

Then either going for no Brexit failing a majority for any particular Brexit and blaming parliament (gambling on events making Brexit less of an issue down the road, which it probably would have been in that alternative 2020) or commiting to a particular vision of Brexit, purging her party of opponents and then taking this particular Brexit to the country in a new election.

Instead she triggered the declaration and went to elections which even if she had won had not given her a majority for any particular Brexit.

To further my simile it is if the college student had decided to graduate within two years, but still haven't decided what to graduate as. It forces the situation, but only in making it worse.

Hard Brexit by incompetence.

by fjallstrom on Tue Sep 22nd, 2020 at 12:03:59 PM EST
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Indicative votes were held in parliament, and none yielded a majority. But the big problem was May refused to work with Corbyn, who would have supported a version of Brexit which included effectively staying within the Single Market and Customs Union. That would have caused huge ructions within the Tories and within Labour, dividing both, and possibly imperilling her Premiership, but would also have yielded a majority in the country at that stage if she had called an election before the Brexiteers could oust her.

It would have been high stakes politics, requiring real leadership, and a willingness to work with the devil (Corbyn). May was capable of none of this - too dyed in the wool, true blue, unionist conservative. She went for the road of least resistance, every time, and eventually ran out of road.

Boris, in fairness to him, was always capable of the extravagant gesture, such as working with Corbyn, but by the time he got into office the die was cast, and his only option was to cobble together some sort of deal and then run to the country to get a mandate to get it done.

Even here he was favoured by fortune and the pusillanimity of Farage, who abandoned his own party to the wolves and made way for Boris by withdrawing candidates from key marginals. Had he stood his ground, arguing for a "pure" Brexit rather than Boris' opportunistic deal, he would have divided the Brexit vote and perhaps enabled a Corbyn win.

The Brexit party could then have replaced the Conservatives in bipolar UK electoral system and lived to fight another day, banking on Labour divisions under Corbyn to have failed to deliver Brexit and resulting in another general election soon.

But of course his Billionaire handlers couldn't have that - Corbyn in power under any circumstances - and so he meekly made way to become a complete has been in politics, probably never to be seen again, except on some Billionaire's yacht.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 22nd, 2020 at 12:57:46 PM EST
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IIRC, the indicative votes weren't held until article 50 had been triggered and negotiations had run a lot of its course. In effect, it was far to late to discover that there was no majority.

Yes, there was a clear lack of leadership, which in the end lead to a very short premiership.

I wonder what someone like Merkel would have done. While one can say a lot about her politics, and lack of real leadership for the eurozone, her instincts for political survival are top notch. Probably would have realised the lack of a majority and appointed a patsy (Boris?) she wanted to get rid of to run down the process of creating a majority and then blamed him for failing.

I still find it remarkable that a major state can fail this spectacularly in formulating what it wants in a crucial issue. It points to problems not only in the leadership but also the government bureaucracy.

by fjallstrom on Tue Sep 22nd, 2020 at 01:29:46 PM EST
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I can't imagine Johnson working with Corbyn. The Tories, the Blairite crypto-Tory Labour right, and the not quite so crypto-Tory LibDems all loathe Corbyn and the Left with an almost supernatural intensity.

I also don't think No Deal is an accident. It's more likely it was always the plan, so there was nothing unfortunate about the "mistakes". Especially considering how many of them there were, and how consistently they all enabled No Deal.

May was always just a seat warmer. Getting her Not-Quite-No-Deal over the line was Plan B, not Plan A. She didn't have the majority to make it happen - which was unfortunate, but whatevs.

Now that that problem has been fixed we can see what Plan A always was.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 22nd, 2020 at 01:40:54 PM EST
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I can't imagine Johnson working with Corbyn.

Well... Churchill worked with Atlee.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Sep 23rd, 2020 at 06:30:22 AM EST
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