British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:30 am UTC

The fact that significant numbers of people did and still would treat the referendum as a protest vote is why Cameron was so foolish to call a referendum in the first place.

Yes, democracy sucks when people protest vote even against their own self-interest in a general election, but at least they happen every few years. With America, for example, those who threw a protest vote Trump's way had a chance to rein him in two years later when voting for Congress.

Protest voting here has not merely meant we lost two years whereby the government has basically passed no legislation at all because it has been all-consumed by Brexit, it may take us a generation to reverse it and, indeed, it may be irreversible in the sense that we may never get as good a deal as we had before, what with the rebates and opt-outs we, uniquely, enjoyed. And then there's the consequences yet to play out for Scotland and Ireland.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Vo2max » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:14 pm UTC

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... referendum

So in practice the only route now left to another referendum is by May calling one and parliament supporting her. But a public vote on her terms would be no different really to the challenge she has in parliament - getting people to vote for their least hated option. For one side her deal doesn't go far enough, for the other side it goes too far; if we had a STV ballot everyone who understood the voting paper would put it in second place but it would be eliminated in the first round of counting. And anyway hardly anyone would understand the voting paper and she's terrible at public campaigning. So that's not going to happen.

So we're left with The Backstop Issue. Persuading the people who want us to be totally separate from the EU but also completely connected and with no border, arguing that a fall-back position to prevent there ever being a problem should only apply for a few years, assuming that it'll definitely need to happen because there won't be the technology available to avoid it even though using that unobtainium was exactly their plan from their start; all while everyone ignores the fact that it's a self-resolving issue as Brexit pushes the Six Counties ever closer to reunification with the Irish Republic. May's deal remains the least worst thing anyone's come up with since the start of this but there's not much of a democratic mechanism for coalescing around least worst.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby orthogon » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:20 pm UTC

Vo2max wrote:[...] there's not much of a democratic mechanism for coalescing around least worst.

Well, there are mechanisms, but as you point out, instant runoff probably isn't one of them in this case. May's deal might conceivably be the Condorcet winner if the other two options are Remain and No Deal.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Link » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:41 pm UTC

Well, that went exactly as well as I had expected:
EU: the backstop is a fundamental part of the deal we negotiated, and will not be scrapped.
UK parliament: marvellous, but could we, perchance, scrap the backstop?
EU: *facepalm* No. We just told you that.
UK parliament:
surprised-pikachu.png

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Xenomortis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:57 pm UTC

Nobody is surprised at the EU's response at this stage.
The hope is that it will not be the response later on.
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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby orthogon » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:12 pm UTC

Yes, but there's something about the Game Theory of this that makes it all rather complicated. May needed to get her deal through Parliament, but the EU knew that. And May knew that the EU knew that. It was always likely that Parliament might demand concessions, so an astute negotiator on the EU side should have stopped short of their final position, on the basis that the UK government wasn't actually the body with the final say. May was a bit like an estate agent saying "well, I'll have to go and ask the vendor if they'll accept that offer". In fact, since both sides knew this, they could potentially have reached a deal behind closed doors, but announce a deal that was somewhat more favourable to the EU, giving latitude for the EU to "concede" up to the actual agreed position.

I'm not saying that's what has actually happened, but this is often discussed in a way that seems to suppose that the EU leaders and negotiators don't get BBC TV or can't understand English. (Our own legendary monolingualism is probably part of the problem).

Also, we have to remember that it's Parliament that is taking these decisions on the UK side, and Parliament is 600-odd individuals. There's no guarantee the any decisions it makes are internally self-consistent. It's perfectly possible for option A to beat option B, B to beat C and C to beat A. When the EU throws up its hands because the UK "doesn't know what it wants", it's really complaining about democracy itself.

Still, it's a shambles.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:18 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Also, we have to remember that it's Parliament that is taking these decisions on the UK side, and Parliament is 600-odd individuals ...
When the EU throws up its hands because the UK "doesn't know what it wants", it's really complaining about democracy itself.

And yet the EU manages to "know what it wants" despite being a couple dozen countries each with democratic parliaments.

So, no, democracy isn't the problem, it really is just the UK being utterly dysfunctional here.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby orthogon » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:39 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
orthogon wrote:Also, we have to remember that it's Parliament that is taking these decisions on the UK side, and Parliament is 600-odd individuals ...
When the EU throws up its hands because the UK "doesn't know what it wants", it's really complaining about democracy itself.

And yet the EU manages to "know what it wants" despite being a couple dozen countries each with democratic parliaments.

So, no, democracy isn't the problem, it really is just the UK being utterly dysfunctional here.

Don't get me wrong: it's an utter shitshow. But the fact is that Parliament, the Tories, Labour and the British public alike are split at least three ways on this in such a manner as to make the concept of "what it wants" practically meaningless.

Presumably the EU27 just don't have that problem, either collectively or individually. As I understand it none of the national parliaments has had to approve the deal so far. It's been down to the leaders of each member, and they get to have their discussions in private, allowing them to present a largely united front, whatever horse-trading and disagreements there may have been along the way.

But overall, I just don't think it's as difficult for them, probably because they have much less to lose and all want more or less the same thing. They probably differ more in their appetite for a no-deal Brexit, which we might start to see more over the coming weeks. But their sensitivity to the exact nature of the deal is diluted compared to Britain's.

May knows what she wants, as do most MPs. It's just that they all want different things. There's plenty of blame to go around for this disaster, but what's going on in Parliament right now is democracy, in all its ugly glory.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:07 am UTC

orthogon wrote:Don't get me wrong: it's an utter shitshow. But the fact is that Parliament, the Tories, Labour and the British public alike are split at least three ways on this in such a manner as to make the concept of "what it wants" practically meaningless.

Presumably the EU27 just don't have that problem, either collectively or individually. As I understand it none of the national parliaments has had to approve the deal so far. It's been down to the leaders of each member, and they get to have their discussions in private, allowing them to present a largely united front, whatever horse-trading and disagreements there may have been along the way.

This is why almost all Western countries are representative democracies and not direct democracies...

Basically, populations vote for representatives, who go away and discuss with experts what policies would be in the best interests of their electorates.

If voters disapprove of the laws subsequently passed, then they vote for different representatives who may or may not listen to the same experts, who come to their own opinion as to what would be in the best interests of their electorates.

The reason the UK is in this mess is because they put a highly technical issue that almost noone fully understands to a referendum. I mean, why not have the people vote on the minutiae of corporate tax law too..? I mean we are a democracy, right..?

Now MP's have to decide if their primary duty is to act according to the stated wishes of their electorate (despite knowing that all sides lied and that many voters were utterly uninformed) or to act in the best interests of their electorate (and different MP's will have come to different conclusions as to what that is). It's the referendum that screwed things up though; Do you really think there was a majority of MP's in parliament who believed the British public was best served by a Brexit otherwise..?

And do you really think EU voters aren't also in multiple minds as to how the EU as a whole should be run? Of course they are. But pushing that schizophrenia upwards achieves nothing productive. To be functional, someone has to make a firm decision, even if that sometimes upsets the public, and even if it sometimes upsets the majority of the public...

The UK is currently heading towards a no-deal Brexit despite the vast majority of the public and politicians being against it. And that's entirely the fault of Cameron choosing to pass the buck...

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:05 am UTC

Never should a politician so explicitly ask "Do you trust me? Do you like me?". Well, outside of the mandated cycle, certainly.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby orthogon » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:03 pm UTC

@elasto I don't think I'm really disagreeing with you about how we got here or about representative democracy - I'm a big fan of the latter concept and have (I think) posted that effect on these here forums in the past.

I'm mainly saying that the apparent indecisiveness of the UK is inevitable given the split in the Commons. The idea of acting decisively in spite of the divisions works fine if you're talking about the executive, but there's nothing to make Parliament work that way, and generally that's a good thing: the status quo is maintained unless some change can command a majority.

So the factors making it malfunction here are (1) that the default option isn't the status quo but a no-deal Brexit, (2) the need to give Parliament a "meaningful vote", and (3) the lack of a decent government majority in the Commons. May brought 1 and 3 on herself (by serving A50 and by calling an election respectively), so if you're saying that she could potentially have avoided this, I see your point. However, nobody was predicting the hung parliament - that really caught everyone by surprise, and in many ways reflected the deep division in the public. Whilst both main parties promised to deliver Brexit, Labour's position is much more Remainy than the Tories', and many individual MPs' personal positions even more so.

Also, I'm pretty sure the EU 27 would have refused to start talking until A50 was triggered and the clock was ticking. What she probably should have done is to announce her strategy and have the election before triggering A50. These were mistakes, but I can see the logic behind them.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:01 pm UTC

It's not surprising that parliament (and the government and, at times even publicly, the cabinet) is split and unable to set down a direction. The country was near-as-damnit split 50:50 about the issue (assuming that everyone voted on the issue, which is far from proven). Letting a third of the electorate get something that far less than that third actually wanted, with no "well then, we will at least have a new vote within the next five years if this vote's outcome showed the winners this time couldn't organise a orgy in a whorehouse" is a problem.

With just a small swing the other way (less than with many government wins, the last couple of PMs excepted) there'd have been no "oh well, Remain won, that's the definite Will Of The People™" response from the other side. I see nothing wrong (apart from voter-fatigue and the inevitable attempts at further external influences, since those have been proven to work quite well) with establishing at least an opportunity to solidify the result without all the "it'll be easy to leave, and profitable too!" platitudes. But some people (with both original points of view) are scared to try.

Not up to me, though. I'm nowhere near being one of the wheels-within-wheels cogs that has any say. As always.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby sardia » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:15 am UTC

How about this plan. We write off Britain as a lost cause, and then showcase its dying corpse as a warning to anyone else trying to leave?
*People are stupid, and it doesn't scare them as much as immigrants? Ok, I'll take my coat and leave...

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Raidri » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:52 am UTC

sardia wrote:How about this plan. We write off Britain as a lost cause, and then showcase its dying corpse as a warning to anyone else trying to leave?
*People are stupid, and it doesn't scare them as much as immigrants? Ok, I'll take my coat and leave...

That is what the EU is doing by not giving the UK a better deal.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Mutex » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:26 am UTC

Also because a "better deal" would be breaking the EU's red lines. Or the UK's. The only possible better deal would be staying in the EEA. Or remaining.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Zamfir » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:26 pm UTC

Raidri wrote:
sardia wrote:How about this plan. We write off Britain as a lost cause, and then showcase its dying corpse as a warning to anyone else trying to leave?
*People are stupid, and it doesn't scare them as much as immigrants? Ok, I'll take my coat and leave...

That is what the EU is doing by not giving the UK a better deal.

That's not really "dying corpse" by any stretch of the imagination.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby MartianInvader » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:56 pm UTC

I don't think there's much else the EU *can* do, given the UK's "Give me more or I'll hold my breath until I pass out" strategy.
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:13 pm UTC

The UK parliament has once again rejected May's deal. The EU insists there can be no more negotiation and lays blame directly at the UK and the fact that "parliament did not decide, or rather was never consulted about, what kind of Brexit it wanted before negotiations began - even when everyone knew MPs would have the final say on any resulting deal."

Gosh, who'd have thunk that 'Brexit means Brexit' wouldn't have been sufficient..?

And they are already worrying about the next round of "magical thinking" in the UK.

Moments after the deal was rejected by parliament on Tuesday, Mr Barnier took to Twitter to express concern that there seemed to be what he called a "dangerous illusion" amongst some MPs that the UK can have a transition period after Brexit even if no formal EU-UK divorce deal is agreed.

Brussels has always ruled that option out as impossible - a case of cherry-picking extraordinaire.

As much as EU leaders want to avoid an acrimonious no-deal Brexit, they are not willing to pay just any price.


I'd say the chances of no-deal and of a second referendum have risen, and what an enormous waste of political time and resources these last few years have been...

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby speising » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:24 pm UTC

the funny thing is, parliament can reject no-deal, and then reject an extension as well, and a new referendum. (and it's no wonder they're rejecting everything since all options are bad)
So what will then happen end of march?

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:10 pm UTC

I'm pretty sure that parliament has the right under EU law to unilaterally cancel Brexit. But that would be politically infeasible unless they paired it with a second referendum. If they did everything you say and nothing else then we'd default to a no-deal Brexit since parliament already legislated to that effect.

In all this, under UK law parliament is sovereign, not the government. At the end of the day the PM is simply 'first amongst equals', and increasingly looks like it too.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:30 pm UTC

There is no Brexit that is "the Brexit the people voted for"*, and everyone has someone they can blame for it not being hard/soft/quick/cautious enough for their liking. It's never going to be 'right', and all expectations will end up notably wrong.

Parliament or Government or People's Assembly or Plebiscite or Popular Dictator arisen from the masses, it doesn't matter who gets it done (or not done).


Giant Meteor?



* Except for those that voted to reject Cameron & Co. They got what they acted for with their vote, but everything after that is a wild ride that this cohort won't stay as one group with one idea on.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:44 pm UTC

God damn it. I had an entire roadmap typed in, and now the forum logged me out and 20-30 minutes of work is gone :x

speising wrote:So what will then happen end of march?


Short version. No deal will happen no matter what. The only feasible way out is that parliament votes for May's deal eventually. Round 3 is already planned. If that doesn't go horribly, there's going to be a round 4.

If I want to put in the effort tomorrow, I'll rewrite everything I've had so far.

Fuck you XCKD, don't you dare time me out again when I'm writing an essay.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:34 am UTC

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Short version. No deal will happen no matter what. The only feasible way out is that parliament votes for May's deal eventually. Round 3 is already planned. If that doesn't go horribly, there's going to be a round 4.

That's pretty much the EU's view:

A European Commission spokesperson said: "There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without a deal. The EU is prepared for both.

"To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal - you have to agree to a deal. We have agreed a deal with the prime minister and the EU is ready to sign it."


The EU aren't going to grant an extension as things stand - Brexit could drag on for years that way and that'd benefit noone. Two years should have been plenty, especially since we didn't have to kick off the two year leaving process until we were good and ready... May should have gotten cross-party support prior to kicking off the negotiations but maybe she thought that'd lead to the Tory party splitting for good...

I could see the EU granting an extension if we announced a second referendum with the three key options - No deal, May's deal or Remain - since all three of those options could be implemented immediately with no further negotiations required.

I still hope that's how it turns out, but I'm starting to feel like No deal is the most likely outcome now, despite being most people's least favourite option, with bitter recriminations to follow, including May's resignation.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby gd1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:51 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Giant Meteor?


Is that really a viable option? I'm just wondering if that could count as a retirement plan...
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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:22 am UTC

Here's what I wrote yesterday. The Brexit Roadmap.

1. Parliament voted against No Deal.
2. Parliament will vote for an extension (Tusk has tweeted this, he's pushing for a long extension: https://twitter.com/eucopresident/statu ... 9539334144)
3. Britain has to come with a proper plan when asking the EU for an extension. The EU has made clear that an extension of whatever lenght is absolutely useless if the process is just a longer version of Groundhog Day (Brexhog Day?).
3A. New negotiations, for a completely different withdrawl agreement, e.g. to have a Norway style relationship after Brexit. This comes with the problem that when the new agreement has been written, the circus in parliament starts all over again.
3B. May announces she's preparing for a no deal Brexit and wants an extension to be more prepared. This is theoretically not an option, because of (1).
3C. May wants parliament to keep voting for her deal, as long as it takes to get it passed. This is theoretically not an option, because of the main point of (3)
3D. New elections, to get a majority for something, somehow. This will never happen by the Tories' initiative because right now they have the government, and they know they're not going to improve with elections. Labour has lost its momentum that gave them half a win in the last snap election, because of the anti-semitism. The new independent MPs apparently had a 10% share in a recent poll, but it is very questionable if that will last in any way. Like with the US, it is insanely difficult if you're the third party in a two-party system with voting districts. It's party politics that makes the option of elections impossible.
3E. New referendum. This also won't happen, again because of party politics. MPs are too scared of making their supporters angry. That and the populists who got the people wound up over Brexit are the ones who want no-deal. This whole circus plays to their advantage. That's also why they voted against preventing No Deal in the first place.
4. Britain doesn't get the extension. Three options.
4A. Leave without a deal after all. This is very much possible despite Parliament voting against No Deal. With everyone being entrenched in party politics, this is the case of "Oh well time ran out, we failed, what are you going to do about that?"
4B. Keep voting for May's deal, as in 3C, but with a much shorter time limit.
4C. Cancel Brexit. This is also an option in part 3. But highly unlikely. Again because of party politics. It's even less likely in part 3 because then there's more time to navigate party politics and get something done that results in Brexit. If the extension happens and then there is no result and time runs out again, then canceling Brexit becomes an option again.
5. Panic. This goes before, during and after every step.

There is more to say about the extension. Farage and Banks (the businessman who funded Leave.eu and has committed to election fraud while doing so) are lobbying to Italy and Poland to veto the extension. All EU members have to agree to an extension to get it passed.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby maybeagnostic » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:45 pm UTC

Is there realistically a chance to negotiate an extension at this point? May has already set a third vote on "her" deal for next week and, despite today's vote, I can't see how Parliament can decide on getting an extension before that. This means they won't even be able to start discussing what kind of extension they want until mid next week which gives them about ten days to:
  • Agree on what kind of extension they want (multitude of options here)
  • Have May convince the EU that this kind of extension is even worth discussing
  • Have all EU member states unanimously support that extension
  • Get that extension back to the British Parliament for approval
It seems impossible for all of that to happen so quickly when there is pretty clearly no agreement in either the UK or EU whether and what kind of extension to even consider.
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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:07 pm UTC

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Tusk has tweeted this, he's pushing for a long extension: https://twitter.com/eucopresident/statu ... 9539334144)

Wow, I seriously didn't expect that. That's pretty generous of their negotiating team (even though it may not come to pass).

Britain has to come with a proper plan when asking the EU for an extension. The EU has made clear that an extension of whatever length is absolutely useless if the process is just a longer version of Groundhog Day (Brexhog Day?).

3A. New negotiations, for a completely different withdrawl agreement, e.g. to have a Norway style relationship after Brexit. This comes with the problem that when the new agreement has been written, the circus in parliament starts all over again.

The UK government has to learn its lesson here: Parliament has asserted its sovereignty (wasn't Brexit all about taking back sovereignty..?) and May cannot put the cart before the horse again. The government has to get parliamentary agreement first (in private if necessary) and only then begin renegotiations. The EU will most likely accept whatever level of partnership we want so long as we stop pretending having all the benefits but none of the costs is on the table...

3C. May wants parliament to keep voting for her deal, as long as it takes to get it passed.

This will probably happen another couple of times, but it's a bit of a joke. As one MP said, why is it somehow ok to keep putting the same vote to parliament until they cave yet fundamentally undemocratic to ask the people a second time? Oh, you can ask parliament to vote again because the situation's changed (even though it hasn't)? Well then we can ask the public to vote again for the same reason...

3D. New elections, to get a majority for something, somehow.

Can't see this. The Tories wouldn't risk it even though there's a good chance they'd get an increased majority. And if the Tories won again I can't see how things would change even with a new leader: They'd still be just as divided - maybe even moreso. A cross-party consensus is the only way to get a majority for a plan.

3E. New referendum. This also won't happen, again because of party politics.

I still think this could happen, especially with Labour making weak noises in that direction.

Here's my uninformed guesswork as to what will happen next:
- 40% chance we squabble ourselves into a no deal brexit
- 30% chance we get an extension having promised a second referendum of NoDeal / MayDeal / Remain
- 20% chance May resigns and we get an extension to reboot negotiations from scratch
- 10% chance MPs back May's deal

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:43 pm UTC

An amendment to have a second referendum was rejected (334-89) - Labour whip was to abstain (some rebels for both directions though).
An amendment to extend Article 50 was also rejected (314-311).

It's really hard for me to see a path that isn't "no-deal", and I've no idea what lies past that.
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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Dauric » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:49 pm UTC

Question from across the pond:

I've heard that one of the big sticking points is the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and that the establishment of customs checkpoints could signal a return to the bad-'ol'-days of the IRA and bombings and such. To those in the know: Is a "No Deal Brexit" a potential return of The Troubles, or is that just media hyperbole?
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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Mutex » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:05 pm UTC

Xenomortis wrote:An amendment to have a second referendum was rejected (334-89) - Labour whip was to abstain (some rebels for both directions though).
An amendment to extend Article 50 was also rejected (314-311).

It's really hard for me to see a path that isn't "no-deal", and I've no idea what lies past that.

Weirdly the campaign for a People's Vote were against the motion, the general feeling among them and remainer politicians was apparently that the motion would have reduced the chances of actually getting a referendum or something? I was very confused.

Also, MPs have voted against taking control of the Brexit process by two votes. :|

Dauric wrote:Question from across the pond:

I've heard that one of the big sticking points is the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and that the establishment of customs checkpoints could signal a return to the bad-'ol'-days of the IRA and bombings and such. To those in the know: Is a "No Deal Brexit" a potential return of The Troubles, or is that just media hyperbole?

It really is a potential return to The Troubles. The Good Friday Agreement was only made possible by the UK and Ireland being members of the EU. No Deal, or basically anything that doesn't involve the UK remaining part of the Single Market or Customs Union, necessarily involves the end of the GFA. Either there's a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, or one between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Either one will make one side extremely angry.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:48 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Plasma_Wolf wrote:Tusk has tweeted this, he's pushing for a long extension: https://twitter.com/eucopresident/statu ... 9539334144)

Wow, I seriously didn't expect that. That's pretty generous of their negotiating team (even though it may not come to pass).

This can actually be a tactic from Tusk. It's well known that the Leave MPs don't want an extension, and a long one is absolutely out of the question. With a third vote on the deal on the way, they may choose to take the deal that is worse in their eyes (but obviously the only possible option to anyone who thinks about it for more than 5 seconds).

The UK government has to learn its lesson here: Parliament has asserted its sovereignty (wasn't Brexit all about taking back sovereignty..?) and May cannot put the cart before the horse again. The government has to get parliamentary agreement first (in private if necessary) and only then begin renegotiations.

Problem is that parliament can't agree on anything. Parliament taking control over the Brexit process means that Parliament would be negotiating with the EU (by proxy, but still). There is nothing that Parliament can come up with, which will carry a majority and not cross any EU red line.

The EU will most likely accept whatever level of partnership we want so long as we stop pretending having all the benefits but none of the costs is on the table...
Yep, the EU red lines, and I think there are enough MPs that understand this, but party politics prevents them from coming together.

3C. May wants parliament to keep voting for her deal, as long as it takes to get it passed.

This will probably happen another couple of times, but it's a bit of a joke. As one MP said, why is it somehow ok to keep putting the same vote to parliament until they cave yet fundamentally undemocratic to ask the people a second time? Oh, you can ask parliament to vote again because the situation's changed (even though it hasn't)? Well then we can ask the public to vote again for the same reason...
The hypocrisy is obvious, but sadly the leave voters don't understand that this really is because of the dysfunctional British MPs, rather than an issue created by the EU. Therefore any MP living in a leave consituency can't reasonably push for the second referendum.

But there is a more practical problem. As long this is the case, pushing for a second referendum is pointless. If the referendum results "just do Brexit", then Brexit may happen. Again, we are smart enough to put the vote on three options and get a clearer answer from the people.

A) Remain, B) May-deal, C) No deal.

Add the votes of B+C and check if B+C>A. If that is the case, check which of the two is bigger, B or C.

But would parliament ever agree to a vote that is like this? Would it even be mentioned by an MP to put forward for a vote?

With this whole circus now having moved to "ask the EU for an extension", a new problem appears. Britain may take part in the European elections, and this is going to be a massive victory for the British populists (populists all over Europe are gaining but the British victory would become truly massive). This is something the EU can't use. It's quite easy to show how wrong the British populists are (and for that reason, I think it's easy to show how wrong populists all over Europe are, just ask them "and then what?", while pointing out a negative about their plans. Keep doing this forever). But it is a thousand times harder to get this message across to their support.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:12 pm UTC

Xenomortis wrote:An amendment to have a second referendum was rejected (334-89) - Labour whip was to abstain (some rebels for both directions though).
An amendment to extend Article 50 was also rejected (314-311).

It's really hard for me to see a path that isn't "no-deal", and I've no idea what lies past that.

So there was another vote that I missed to seek an extension of Article 50, and this one passed by wide margin (413-202). I think the previous was a Labour one that had extra baggage (explicit rejection of May's deal and of No deal).
I think I got some numbers wrong in my last post following the BBC feed...

So if an extension were to be granted (I don't know how the winds are blowing), then something may actually be able to be agreed upon.
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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:25 pm UTC

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Problem is that parliament can't agree on anything. Parliament taking control over the Brexit process means that Parliament would be negotiating with the EU (by proxy, but still). There is nothing that Parliament can come up with, which will carry a majority and not cross any EU red line.

I'm not sure that's true. The overwhelming majority of MPs (75%) supported Remain, so while unilaterally cancelling Brexit wouldn't be feasible, I think they could agree on the softest of soft Brexits - a 'Brexit-in-name-only'. The EU would be happy with that also.

But there is a more practical problem. As long this is the case, pushing for a second referendum is pointless. If the referendum results "just do Brexit", then Brexit may happen. Again, we are smart enough to put the vote on three options and get a clearer answer from the people.

A) Remain, B) May-deal, C) No deal.

Add the votes of B+C and check if B+C>A. If that is the case, check which of the two is bigger, B or C.

Henning isn't wrong, but the last time we chose either to travel or stay home; now we choose what direction to travel in. They are different things and a second referendum could have been (and should have been) an easy sell...

And I think I'd prefer a single-transferable-vote to your method, because there very well may be people that only want to leave if it's May's deal, otherwise they prefer to remain than to crash out (and all the other permutations).

This is an issue that may not get revisited within our lifetimes so it's worth reflecting the public's wishes as accurately as possible.

Mutex wrote:
Xenomortis wrote:An amendment to have a second referendum was rejected (334-89) - Labour whip was to abstain (some rebels for both directions though).

Weirdly the campaign for a People's Vote were against the motion, the general feeling among them and remainer politicians was apparently that the motion would have reduced the chances of actually getting a referendum or something? I was very confused.

Yeah. There must be some logic there but what it is is beyond me:

bbc wrote:Following the votes, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reiterated his support for a further referendum after earlier ordering his MPs not to vote for one.

He said: "Today I reiterate my conviction that a deal can be agreed based on our alternative plan that can command support across the House. I also reiterate our support for a People's Vote - not as a political point-scoring exercise but as a realistic option to break the deadlock."

Your guess is as good as mine...

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby HES » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:56 am UTC

elasto wrote:
Mutex wrote:Weirdly the campaign for a People's Vote were against the motion, the general feeling among them and remainer politicians was apparently that the motion would have reduced the chances of actually getting a referendum or something? I was very confused.

Yeah. There must be some logic there but what it is is beyond me:

I presume it's something along the lines that if that amendment passed, the motion as a whole would then have been shot down and we'd be out of time.
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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:02 pm UTC

HES wrote:I presume it's something along the lines that if that amendment passed, the motion as a whole would then have been shot down and we'd be out of time.

That actually does make sense.

I guess that's the difference between an amendment and primary legislation: Could be pointless (or even counterproductive) to attach your amendment to the wrong thing.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Zamfir » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:34 pm UTC

I get the impression that there is more to it. Labour has internal divisions, and quite some of their MPs would have voted against. Presumably, enough to lose the vote.

In that case, the vote would not accomplish anything , but it would expose the internal fault line in a way that might not be repairable.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby elasto » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:53 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I get the impression that there is more to it. Labour has internal divisions, and quite some of their MPs would have voted against. Presumably, enough to lose the vote.

In that case, the vote would not accomplish anything , but it would expose the internal fault line in a way that might not be repairable.

The parties need to grow up and realise this is a genuinely cross-party issue; All votes should be free votes and noone should have to resign in order to follow their conscience.

(In fact, way more issues should be cross-party; The idea that just because someone affiliates to one of two labels their views suddenly become monolithic is ridiculous, and this toxic conformism is part of the cancer affecting modern social media.

In the real world there should be no correlation between one's view of climate change and abortion, say, and the fact that there is is deeply worrisome.)

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Angua » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:18 am UTC

May asks for honourable compromise on Brexit deal or else "we will not leave the EU for many months, if ever".

Oh nooo, whatever will we do?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/47599860
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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:14 am UTC

Angua wrote:Oh nooo, whatever will we do?
All those things that we've been unable to do because of this whole mess taking up our time?

(No, of course the political nihilists will still be there shouting "Project Fear" while promoting the Terrors of the EU. If it weren't for this looming threat, I'd by now have suggested that May has been working for her original Leave agenda by 11-dimensional chess moves, under the guise of a Brexit PM but toeing that fine line between not succeeding but not actually failing yet.)


The day after the vote I think I had my own moment of political nihilism, wishing upon the those who wanted to Leave everything they wanted (in a Faustian way). Contrary to how MPs/figureheads currently report, though, I've actually rolled back from that and am not one of those who "voted Remain but now just want it done already". But I obviously don't have chessmaster-May's ability to imagine a path out of this. Either way. Though not including totally Balkanising ourselves and having to rebuild Hadrian's wall in steel (even if Offa's Dyke probably won't be necessary) because it's always a possibility though I don't wamt to imagine that.


My prediction: however we leave the EU (can't see us not, but not in any easy way) within a decade or so we'll be looking to make a deal to (re)enter the EU or another power block of the day, and this time we won't keep the Pound or have so many exceptions and get-outs because whoever it is (EU, Greater Russian Federation, Californian Confederate States, the New Dutch Empire…) won't have any reason to humour us over such petty niceties.

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Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:09 am UTC

gd1 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:Giant Meteor?


Is that really a viable option? I'm just wondering if that could count as a retirement plan...

Still working on the aiming, obviously.


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