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No Deal Means No deal (Reprise)

by Frank Schnittger Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 11:12:01 AM EST



Minister for Justice Charles Flanagan and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney hold their press conference on the street after the British failed to provide a room following a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in London last month. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

Update [2019-7-2 11:12:1 by Frank Schnittger]:First published Fri Aug 3rd, 2018, but is there anything of substance which has changed in the meantime?</update>


One of the few things the UK government has done well is to summarise their position in a few pithy phrases even low information voters can understand. We are all familiar with the famous "Brexit means Brexit" catchphrase of Prime Minster May and Boris Johnson's famous "we can have our cake at eat it" which should really be "we can eat our cake and still have it"...

What Johnson means by this is that the UK will be able to carry on trading with the EU very much as before, taking all the benefits of access to the EU Single Market and all the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) the EU has negotiated with third parties without any of the costs and restrictions of EU membership. Apparently the EU would agree to this because "they need us more than we need them" and replicating EU FTAs would be a simple mater of replacing the letters "EU" with "UK" in all the FTAs the EU has negotiated to date.

The EU negotiating stance, on the other hand, has been one long slow process of disabusing the UK of such notions. Access to the Single Market will require agreement to "the four freedoms", and membership of the Customs Union will require compliance with the corpus of customs regulations the EU has built up over the years. The UK will not be allowed to achieve a competitive advantage by taking in cheaper, less regulated imports, or by reducing the scope of workers rights. And this is before we even talk about the UK making Norway style ongoing contributions to the EU budget in return for access to the Single Market.


As these realities have sunk in, debate in the UK has switched to negotiating a "Canada+++" style FTA which could include services and other elements not included in normal FTAs. "Just because this hasn't been done before shouldn't limit the scope of our ambition" according to Theresa May. The problem is that even standard FTAs tend to take many years to negotiate, and are subject to an EU requirement that they be ratified and approved unanimously by the EU Council, Commission, Parliament, 27 member Parliaments and some regional Parliaments. A big ask especially if EU/UK relations are not the best...

As a last resort the Brexiteers have been proclaiming their happiness to trade on just standard WTO terms in the event of a no deal Brexit - something they claim to be very relaxed about. They can point to the fact that the EU and UK have commenced the process of splitting their joint WTO trade schedules and making them available for consultation by other WTO members - where they too must achieve unanimous consent. Already 7 WTO members have voiced reservations.

But what ardent "No deal" Brexiteers may be forgetting is that "No Deal means no deal". The EU might halt the WTO schedule splitting process and not extend "Blue Skies" landing rights at EU airports to UK (non-EU) owned airlines. This doesn't require any active action "to punish Britain" on the part of the EU but is a simple consequence of the fact that only EU members are party to the agreement. The same applies to multiple EU agencies like Interpol, the Atomic Energy agency and the EU medicines agency currently decamping from London to Amsterdam.

Slowly, however, despite official attempts to suppress studies detailing the impact of a no deal Brexit on various economic sectors and everyday life, some details have been slipping through into public consciousness:

Keep calm and stockpile: An Irish parcel for Brexit Britain

The British government has revealed it is making plans to stockpile food and drugs in the event it crashes out of Brexit on March 29th without a deal, like a slightly chagrined drunk who ruins the party by throwing up over the sofa, and then slinks off home without a word.

It has been reported that the army and military helicopters may be called in to deliver food and supplies to far-flung parts of Britain (in this context, everywhere outside the southeast of England is "far-flung"). Generators could be flown home from Afghanistan in the event that electricity supplies between the Republic and Northern Ireland are cut off.

Prime minister Theresa May told people not to panic at the talk of stockpiling and blackouts - they should feel "comfort and reassurance", she insisted. "It makes sense to put those things in place for no deal, because we're in a negotiation," she said. Quite right - who needs things such as water, fruit or lifesaving medicines when Britain is #takingcontrol?

Meanwhile, in better news, Jacob Rees-Mogg - the arch-Brexiteer who has just opened his second pension fund based in Ireland - said it will all be worth it... as quickly as around 50 years from now.

Over the weekend, as supermarkets warned that they won't be responsible for stockpiling rations in the event of a no-deal Brexit, newspapers published advice for readers on how to put together a Brexit survival kit. "The imposition of tariffs and the likely collapse of sterling will mean that olive oil and wine will never again be as cheap. A middle-class way of life that began in the 1960s may be coming to an end," wrote Ian Jack in the Guardian, suggesting people stock up on breakfast cereals, cat food, corned beef and HP sauce.

The Financial Times consoled its readers with the thought that advances in vacuum packaging means rationing can be a far jollier affair than it was in their grandparents' day, urging them to fill their survival kits with "German wild boar salami ... air-cured jamon from Spain and prosciutto from Italy ... cheese from Franche-Comté or an Italian pecorino and Gorgonzola." There'll be no undignified racing around Aldi to buy up all the cat food and the Italian pecorino.

Perhaps the Gorgonzola vote will finally swing public sentiment away from Brexit...

The UK has been drawing up a "cherry picked" list of agencies and Treaties they do wish to remain members of, but there is no reason why the EU must agree to this in the absence of an overall Brexit deal, and particularly if the UK has defaulted on any Exit payments due. The UK fall-back position is to appeal over the heads of the Commission to national EU leaders stressing their long ties and proclaiming the need for "sensible arrangements" which are in both party's interests.

There may be certain things which are in the interests of two nation states, but it is not in the interests of the EU that any member or ex-member can be allowed to resile from previous commitments and yet maintain preferential access to the bits of the EU they still want to retain access to. This could be particularly difficult for a member state like Ireland which has a long land border with the UK and is most exposed to the damage a no deal Brexit will do to the most vulnerable parts of its economy.

Ireland exports a huge amount of agricultural produce to the UK which sustains employment in more rural parts of the country. Some companies have already closed because their tight margins were unable to cover the cost of Sterling devaluation. A further 20% devaluation post Brexit would kill off Irish agricultural exports entirely and make even domestic producers vulnerable to much cheaper UK imports.

Ireland is already suffering from hugely asymmetric development between the larger cities and more rural parts of the economy, and the migration of UK financial services jobs to Dublin will only exacerbate that situation. In addition the market for financial and IT jobs is pretty saturated at the moment while unemployment persists among manual, craft and technical workers, especially in more rural areas.

But it is the impact of a no deal Brexit on border regions and Northern Ireland that is of most concern. Ireland fought a bitter civil war in 1922/3 over the creation of that border and civil disorder has lingered intermittently in N. Ireland ever since. The British government has shown huge disrespect for the institutions established by the Good Friday Agreement and seems hell bent on wrecking what little cross-community consensus has developed in the years since that agreement was signed.

There seems to be no prospect of the N. Ireland assembly and Executive being re-established following a disagreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein over DUP corruption scandals and the corrosive effects the prospect of Brexit is having on inter-community relations. There seems little point in trying to negotiate new deals when older ones are allowed to lapse into neglect and disrespect. One way or another Ireland will survive the economic impact of Brexit, no deal or otherwise, but the continued existence of N. Ireland has been called into question.

There will be no deal on anything until the UK starts respecting the Good Friday Agreement and the Back stop on the border they agreed to last December in order to move the talks on to the present phase. The next time British and Irish ministers meet, it may be the British Ministers who are left out in the cold (or in a heatwave, depending on the time of year).

Display:
It will be the glorious times of WW2 all over again, with rationing and stuff just like in those great old movies!
by asdf on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 04:06:44 PM EST
With Boris dreaming himself up as the new Winston Churchill.
Second time as a farce.
by Bernard on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 06:28:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first time around, all that prevented Churchill from appearing farcical was the English Channel and a twin illusion in Hitler's brain about the nature of the English and about the immense hinterland to the east.

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 Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 11:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why every brain Big Data needs a user's manual
... Did he truly believe that because he didn't understand the brain, or was he trying to manipulate other people's lack of understand about the brain?

Well, this is an apt topic if you think of fake news [?]. What is fake news? A complicated entrenchment of false memories and several kinds of biases [?], like confirmation bias [?], where [?] you interpret the news you receive as a confirmation your prejudices [!].

## Classification and its consequences are not well understood.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jul 6th, 2019 at 02:25:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish Times
Nothing will come of nothing. Perhaps the greatest work of the English imagination, William Shakespeare's King Lear is about the break-up of Britain. It begins with a feckless act of misrule and some capricious egotism and it ends in catastrophe. And at its heart is nothing at all.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 04:34:36 PM EST
Never, never, ... never never...

The new Tory motto.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 10:35:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not new, just an even-more-simplistic version of Maggoty Trencher's "There is no alternative."
by rifek on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 01:15:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When Lear's daughter Cordelia refuses to play along with his narcissistic demands for flattery, he asks what more she has to say. "Nothing, my lord." The word bounces back and forth between them, uttered five times in four lines. Lear warns that "Nothing will come of nothing". He does not yet know what he is saying: that this dark non-thing will grow and grow until it blots out everything - all meaning, all possibility, all of the future.

Brexit is nothing. It was always a negative proposition. Most British leaders, even those who wanted to stay in, never created for their people any positive vision of the European Union. It was spoken of grudgingly and engaged with defensively. The Remain campaign in 2016 essentially presented staying in as the lesser of two evils: the EU is bad but leaving it would be even worse. And David Cameron's egotistical capriciousness allowed the Leave campaign to offer a pure negative: vote for what you don't want (EU membership).

It was not required to put forward any clear sense of what would happen after it won. It pointed to the exit sign but shed no light on what lies outside the door. Insofar as it offered any vision - £350 million a week for the NHS, sunny uplands, global Britain, easiest deal ever, have cake/eat cake, Brexit means Brexit - it was a thing of airy nothing.

And nothing does in the end come of nothing. Three years ago, very few of the Brexiteers, let alone those who voted for them, really imagined that Britain would simply leave the EU with no agreement on a future relationship. Few suggested that affiliation would be anything other than close. Yet here we are now with both contenders for the leadership of the Tory party, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, proposing a no-deal Brexit as a serious possibility that must be kept on the table. The lunatic fringe of 2016 is now at the centre.




Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 10:05:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This madness has a Lear-like logic. Brexit is a nothing that pretended to be a thing, a departure that posed as a destination, a break-up masquerading as a relationship. It knows only what it is not. It is rooted in a crisis of identity within the UK and in such crises, when you don't know what "us" means, it is always easier to go for the negative definition: we're not them. And thus there is an absurd rationale in Brexit ending up with a supposed policy that is merely an absence: no deal. The Brexit discourse has now arrived at the point where it has to present that nothing as if it were a something, as if failing to create an alternative to EU membership is in fact the alternative.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 10:07:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In my humble opinion, Fintan O'Toole has again excelled himself in that article. Sometimes he can be overly repetitive, sometimes he goes over the top a bit. But generally I think he is one of the best writers on the topic of Brexit and much else. I suspect you will shortly be able to access the whole article in the Guardian.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 10:13:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As with Der Drumpfenfuehrer's nothings of 2016, which are now manifesting themselves as a full-on fascist state.  For the deluded tools who voted for him, nothing will remain nothing, or worse.  But the lapdog media are incapable of reporting this reality, and Little Donny's minions are incapable of accepting it.  The Anglophone world is goose-stepping off a cliff.
by rifek on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 01:21:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That seems to be the standard Western response for the fall of an Empire in the modern age.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 05:30:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember the ladies, said Abigail once upon a time.
NEEDS MOAR CANNON

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 06:48:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How the EU is gearing up to become a major arms vendor
PESCO dividends on the table!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 01:44:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My apologies for rescuing an old diary. I had started writing a new diary on what no deal might look like when I realised I had said it all before, and it seemed remarkable how little had changed in the meantime. Can the UK really be stuck in a time warp? Nothing seems to be coming from nothing...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 10:17:14 AM EST
Nothing is happening because the EU has been validating the UK's psychosis -- loss of contact with reality.  The UK, in parliament, thinks they can reject the negotiated agree AND rule out No Deal and this will force the EU to accede to letting the UK have all the rights, benefits, and privileges of EU membership without the responsibilities, duties, and costs of EU membership. The EU has actually done, as opposed to yakity-yak, nothing to disabuse them of this notion.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 03:21:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What would you suggest? Invasion and forcible annexion?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 04:02:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not? I've just read Saki's When William came, and it sounds like it would be a big improvement.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 04:10:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for that. I'm sick of reading SCOTUS opinions and research lit on MS (not that one, the other one).

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 06:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course not.  

The UK wants out.  Give them what they want.  

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

by ATinNM on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 09:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Tories want out. Most of the UK no longer supports them.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 09:29:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's a problem for the UK to solve then.
by IdiotSavant on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 03:34:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does this include all the people who want out so bad that they support Nigel Farage over the Tory party?


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 Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 07:52:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

And incidently YouGov (not my favourite pollster) has a new poll out showing the Tories (24%) in the Lead and Labour in fourth place (18%) behind Brexit party (23%) and Lib Dems (20%)...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 08:46:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour's Brexit fate may well become a case study in the dangers of sitting on the fence or trying to plah both sides.

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 Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 03:28:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour lost Scotland to the SNP and haven't recouped enough - any? - votes in England and Wales.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 05:32:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour picked up 3,5 million more votes in 2017 than 2015, getting more votes than in any general election since 1997. The thing is that under Blair election participation dropped like a stone from mid 70ies before Blair to around 60, and it still haven't broken 70 again.

Looking at that hilarious BBC documentary about 2017 that Helen linked at the time, it appeared that it was an increase among traditional non-voters in urban areas, while Labour also lost suburban votes to the Tories. I suspect Labour can win by getting new voters to the polls in England and Wales, even if SNP holds Scotland. Doesn't mean that they will, but I think they can.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 06:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 Kezia Dugdale in more ways than one, twice, quit Labour in Scotland.
In the recent European elections, Scottish Labour failed to win a single seat. Finishing in fifth place, the party lost both of the MEPs it had returned in 2014. Asked how politics and the Labour Party compare to when she first entered Parliament, Dugdale responds that they are "categorically worse on both counts".
Who has replaced her? Richard Leonard, who backed BREXIT back in February with Corbyn logic likewise ill-timed. Next general election scheduled 2021, probability of Labour gains in Holyrood by snap election zero. Labour has no more institutional or disaffected preference voters to tap.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 07:58:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Getting new voters to the polls" is almost always a pipe dream.  Obama managed it in 2008. I doubt Corbyn has that kind of star power/drawing power.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 08:57:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But he already did. One and a half million more voted in 2017 than in 2015, and considering that the Tories increased less than UKIP decreased, and the only other major party that increased was Labour, I think it is a safe guess that Corbyn brought them out. Absent actual studies, of course.
by fjallstrom on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 11:19:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But not in Scotland, it appears.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 6th, 2019 at 02:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, in Scotland Labour got essentially the same number of votes as in 2015. They increased their number of seats because SNP lost half a million -a third of their votes - (to the Tories and to not voting), which lost SNP seats. In Scotland participation went down.

I believe I have heard that Scottish Labour is a Blairite stronghold, but I don't know if that played in. The main story in Scotland is probably related to SNP. Disappointment over lack of results after their strong 2015 result?

In England and Wales Labour increased by three and a half million votes. Greens in England and Wales lost half a million, so if we assume that those went to Labour, the rest comes from UKIP and non voters.

The numbers are from Wikipedia, where I fail to find any analysis of flows (there can be flows both to and from non voters that are obscured in the aggregated numbers). UKIP lost 3,3 million votes (in UK) and Tories increased by 2,3 million (in UK). Thinking about it, if a large portion of the Labour increase was from UKIP, it could explain the hesitancy to go against Brexit, rather than criticize the Tories handling of it.

by fjallstrom on Sat Jul 6th, 2019 at 03:07:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It Will be interesting to see if Lib-dems and Brexit party manages to stay around twenty after the summer. There is likely still a bit of post-election bounce going on.
by fjallstrom on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 06:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The most recent polls have Labour leading, and the LDs trailing at the rear.

The YouGov polls have a consistent history of underestimating Labour support.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jul 7th, 2019 at 05:07:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU has actually done, as opposed to yakity-yak, nothing to disabuse them of this notion

I would argue that the whole negotiation has been one slow, lengthy, process of disabusing the UK of the notion that they can have their cake and eat it to the point where now the only remaining point of contention is the Irish backstop.

Expectations have been reduced to the point where many in the UK are desperate for a deal, any deal, even May's deal, if only some face-saving concessions can be agreed to enable BoJo to claim his deal is better.

Labour, too, are finding it difficult to articulate what they would do to improve the deal other than platitudes about protecting jobs, workers rights and the environment - aspirations all of which can be accommodated within the accompanying political declaration.

The no-deal non-policy is the last, failing, attempt to proclaim the UK as special, needing no one else, able to take its place in the world alone (with a helping hand from Trump). It's the end of the road for the empire, and all but the no-dealers know it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 10:25:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To the contrary, an exhibition of humility is precisely the "face" that the next PM ought to present to the world.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 11:35:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To the contrary of what?

I'm sure BoJo can do humility, but it doesn't appear to be his strong suit...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 08:48:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Offering "face saving" to Johnson --in exchange for ratification of the EU Withdrawal Agreement or, especially, restoration of unqualified EU membership by the act of A.50 revocation-- confounds (1) terms of agreement and (2) commitment to membership as peer.

What "face" of UK gov merits saving anyway?
The exceptional industry of the people with respect to all others appears uncontested. Perhaps you have found some indication that they fear for anyone but themselves.

Observers the world over of BREXIT pilgrims recognize in  tory progress toward sovereignty a concomitant reluctance to clip imperial ambition. Perhaps the attitude of moral superiority with which UK delegates approach members is no affront but welcome aspect in society. Surely the niggardly disposition of UK gov toward its "homeland" constituencies, dependencies, protectorates, and Overseas Territories expresses common courtesy. Conversely, appreciation for dishonesty in discourse will perfect the status of everyone.

Tell us how corespondents of tory government should ease regrets and transgressions of figures, known and unknown, who are demonstrably incapable of accepting responsibility for and responsibility to much less forgiveness?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 01:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
humility

Why are concepts of face expressed by East Asian customs incongruous to concepts of dignity, prestige, or etiquette accorded Western traditions?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 01:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I started writing a response to your comment, but it became a a diary

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 6th, 2019 at 03:02:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No-deal is the last refuge for the unicorns: there is no acceptable Brexit policy once you detail it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 10:57:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was watching a late night horror film politics show on BBC where the host was interviewing representatives of Hunt and Johnston.

As each contradicted himself while presenting unicorns and rainbows as solutions to real world urgencies, the presenter was tired of trying to get them to confront the contradictions and ended the interview almost physically restraining herself from telling the pair of them what she thought of their idiocies in plain language. At one point I felt that actual on-screen physical violence was likely such was the provocation. I think she deserved a medal for restraint.

However, it made me realise that, as unlikely as it may seem, Boris is unlikely to want to have a no-deal scenario. If only for the reason that he is famously lazy and sorting out the issues afterwards would be too much like hard work.

So, the question then is what is the rbbit he would pull from the hat, to which I return to the obvious and easy answer of making Ulster stay in the customs union, removing the need for the hated backstop.

This enables May's deal to sail through parliament, Hail to boris and trebles all round. He can bask in the glory with almost no work. Go to the country and win a General Election for delivering on the people's vote (he hopes)

This flies because May was far too dependent on her deal with the DUP, but there was ALWAYS support for her deal on the Labour benches, but never showed itself because the tories were too solidly against the backstop. Take that away and .....

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 03:55:44 PM EST
That has been blindingly obvious for a while, but May was too much of an ideological unionist and captured DUP automaton to see it. If Boris reduces the all UK backstop to an N. Ireland only backstop, everyone (bar the DUP) is happy. They can either provoke a General election and risk Corbyn or they can suck it up. Even if Boris wins the election he will campaign on a N.I. only backstop.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 05:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fer sure Boris only played the bad boy who was just gonna crash the country out and give the EU two fingers instead of the £39bn, because he's campaigning for the votes of a tiny number of aged swivel-eyed cretins in the Home Counties. It's not a platform that would win him a general election.

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 Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 06:44:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not a platform that would win him a general election.

Seems to me with the SNP snapping-up Scottish seats it's 50/50 if Labour has the votes to win enough seats - the goal, after all - in a General Election.  In a FPTP system it is possible the Tories could lose the popular vote but retain enough seats to form a government.  

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

by ATinNM on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 09:10:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's possible the Tories could get a very small percentage of the vote and still form a government. The outcome of any election on those numbers in a FPTP system depends entirely on pacts about who stands where.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 10:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is inherent in the election just being among Tory Party leaders. Talk about democratic deficits.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 09:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the backstop really the only thing keeping May's deal from being accepted? Or is it only the lowest hanging fruit for opponents, who can list other objections if that one is magically resolved...
by asdf on Sun Jul 7th, 2019 at 01:52:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jul 7th, 2019 at 03:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the beginning, it was the only thing all sorts of people who opposed the deal for different reasons could agree on, so they coalesced around that. Had the backstop been stripped out then, all the other objections would doubtless have emerged.

However in the meantime the realisation has gradually sunk in that the agreement is not negotiable as far as the EU is concerned, and the best they can hope for is that the backstop is somehow magically removed or modified.

The reality of a no deal Brexit has now also begun the sink in, and not just as a negotiating ploy: so now those desperate for a deal are willing to accept perhaps just one face saving change to enable them to back a deal they previously opposed.

So if Boris can pull a rabbit out of the hat - say a NI only backstop - the vast majority would happily embrace it. The problem is there may not be enough rogue Labour votes to pass it in the absence of DUP and some Tory hardliner support.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 8th, 2019 at 01:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1 arrested ... [sic]
In Beijing, the Chinese government LASHED back at remarks by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on the causes of the anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Hunt appeared to be "basking in the faded glory of British colonialism and obsessed with lecturing others."

Hunt had said that Hong Kong authorities should not use an outbreak of vandalism in the legislative chambers by protesters Monday night as a "pretext for repression."



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 07:46:36 PM EST
Washington to London, 5900 km.
Washington to Anchorage, 5400 km.
Washington to Honolulu, 7800 km.

Not a biggie to add England and Wales to US of A as new states. Along with Puerto Rico (coming soon) and the District of Columbia, that would give us 54 states. New flag design already worked out:

by asdf on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 08:21:05 PM EST


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