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Brexit


#144

Please correct me if I’m wrong (I am wrong sometimes, believe it or not!)

“Everything that nobody really liked as a compromise got smacked back down with the help of a huge number of loopholes, and now even the people who helped to make this happen are trying to figure it out?”

I’m sorry if that sounds laconic or simplistic (or even sarcastic! that was not my intention, tone of voice does not convey well in text).

I’m not in the middle of it, my understanding is far from comprehensive, please treat me like a five year old when we talk about this, there are so many things that I admit I don’t understand because I don’t have a proper point of reference (I’m gonna try, though).


#145

My biased perspective is that “the people who helped make this happen” did so for entirely selfish financial reasons and couldn’t give a shit about the fate of the country and the people it affects. No plan from the start. No-one had anything figured out except how to protect their personal fortunes.

The reality of that is beginning to hit home to more people now.


#146

I have heard much the same thing earlier in this topic.


EDIT: also, trying to be neutral, I have “heard” it, I am not qualified to either agree or fight with anyone on this. All of my local info is weak and watered down, all of the people I’ve talked to who are involved (“people with consequences,” no matter the outcome) have pretty much the concentrated version.

I’ll be as opinionated as heck when it comes to the US (at least, in the Thunderdome, we can get a little loose here, this is not always polite company. I actually really, genuinely like everyone here. I know it sounds stupid, but this is the only topic/thread I come to in order to be an opinionated asshole, one of the few topics where I don’t feel bad about cursing like a sailor (if anyone reading this is an actual sailor, I apologize for propagating the stereotype, fuckhead.)


BUT I DIGRESS: let’s keep on topic, I feel real people in the UK can explain this much better than what I see in the news or online.


(Remember, even with this outlet, SU&SD should always be a safe place. Fight in the Thunderdome, it’s fine, be total shits to each other, just don’t take it far enough that you can’t take it back, and keep it here.)


#147

I did made an analogy with Imperial 2030. It doesn’t matter if your starting country didn’t “win” - what matters is that you’re the one who made lots of money. And this isn’t Brexit in particular, it’s just politics as business-as-usual.


My prediction stayed the same: No deal Brexit or a humiliating deal. The EU is just too powerful - it has a GDP (nominal) on the same league as China and the United States, and the conservatives/nationalists/nativists are too stuck in their own collective bumholes on a romantic Pax Britannica that doesn’t exists any more.

Also, Theresa May is likely to survive this no vote of confidence. Tories and DUP would rather keep May in limbo, than to give the government to a Bennite Labour.


#148

I would have preferred if the compromise had passed parliament (of course, I would prefer a new referendum, but that seems highly unlikely).
To me it now looks as if it will end up being a loss-loss-situation for Britain and the EU.


#149

I didn’t think many political elites get that big of a financial boost out of this. Rather, I thought a number liked being able to score easy popularity by making nativist arguments. Farage and Johnson get to ride the wave when Leave is an abstract idea and conveniently vacate their leadership positions when it comes time to dealing with the practicalities.


#150

I am willing to concede that short-term political gain may well have been a more significant influence for some of the people on the front line than money (of course, fame/infamy also leads to money). I still think the people financing the leave campaign primarily did so for financial gain, but I’m also willing to concede that might be due to a ready willingness to believe the people saying that that is so, without doing any digging for myself.


#151

Also, Theresa May is likely to survive this no vote of confidence. Tories and DUP would rather keep May in limbo, than to give the government to a Bennite Labour.

May the Survivor survived the vote of confidence. Easy call, to be fair.


#152

Yeah, the DUP were always going to be the deciding factor. Even if the Tories survived another general election, DUP wouldn’t have. They’re riding this for as long as they can.

Heck, the Tories probably want to shake DUP off. The coalition is the worst possible sidekick for resolving border disputes, at a time when resolving border disputes is more vital than any time since the Good Friday agreement!!

That snap election really was like a Thick of It episode.


#153

Does the DUP have that much influence? Are they really just riding out the storm at this point?


#154

Only in this circumstance that the Conservative Party requires their MPs to have a majority.

E.g. In a parliament of 100 members, your “winning” party only got 48, which isn’t enough for a majority; but that tiny party of 4 MPs are closely aligned to you, and can support you on gaining the majority on the vote of confidence. Suddenly that party with a meagre 4 MPs become way more influential in relative to their size.


#155

When they took vox pops from he residents of York, they missed the opportunity to film it in “The Shambles”.


#156

to be fair, The Shambles is mostly tourists and Harry Potter fans.

The DUP represent an extreme minority. They are actively going against the majority of the people, businesses and actual common sense of the people of Northern Ireland, and in some cases, their own constituencies. They should not be in any form of government. If they were honest about their red lines they would’ve voted against the government in the the no confidence vote. Instead they’ll probably try to block everything the government tries to do to force a No Deal.


#157

Agreed. It’s lunacy. They’ve blockaded themselves in, whilst refusing to contribute to any majority in voting. There’s currently no parliamentary majority for any position on brexit. It’s a complete impasse. At least if there was a GE there would be some impetus to enter serious cross party agreements. As it is, it’s in everyone’s (except May’s) interest to kick the can down the road - this is all on May now. There’s no compromise to be made and no resolution to move forward.

Even now May is (finally!!) pretending to play the cross party card, it’s far too late. I’d be surprised if anything comes of it.

The vitriol between Tories and Labour has really damaged all this. They could have approached this as a bipartisan issue, but instead Tories wanted to take the glory. They’re paying for it now.


#158

MPs should serve the people. That’s their job. In most cases, they put self-interest before public interest and the party before the country. This is rotten and helps nobody, especially at such a crucial time for our country. Theresa May has been trying to undermine the EU Human Rights and employment bill and stop immigration ever since she took over as my MP back in the mid-90s. Her voting record on those issues is abhorrent. And now she’s sticking to those ideals which are not shared by either the remain or leave majority. The fact that she can do all these things and retain EU membership is the reason she was remain to start with.

Didn’t Nicola Sturgeon tweet that while May is collaborating cross-party, she’ll only listen if they agree with her?

They’ve ballsed up. Any reverse on Brexit would be seen as a loss by the government. For the rest of us, it would be seen as the best possible result for the country.

Thanks for the DUP stuff. A billion well spent, eh?


#159

To be fair, that billion is meant to be keeping NIs NHS afloat, fixing some major infrastructure problems and providing social housing.

Of course, if the DUP would actually form an assembly with Sinn Fein… we might actually be able to spend it…


#160

That certainly seems to be the way the media are presenting it, but it seems to be a load of rubbish to be honest. This whole Brexit thing has just been dominated by people wanting something to be true, so declaring it’s true, and then somehow that becoming reality.

May’s deal isn’t a compromise. It’s actually a huge, hard Brexit. We are out of the single market, we are out of the customs union, we are out of the European Court of Human Rights.

When Brexit happened, various models for leaving were batted around and questions were asked. Statements were made: the EU for example said we couldn’t remain in the single market without also keeping freedom of movement. Because staying in the single market is obviously something we would want, right? It should be. But no, the hard right-wing Brexiteers declared that “the people of the UK voted to leave the single market” and thus it became true (note: we didn’t, we voted to leave the EU and no-one knew what that looked liked). So we turned around to the EU, with our wonderful negotiation skills, and said “we don’t want to be in the single market, staying in is not Brexit enough for us”. We didn’t try and strike a deal where we stayed in and limited freedom of movement. We just instantly turned it down.

The EU negotiating position hasn’t changed in two years. They’re offering the same as they ever were. What’s changed, constantly over the past two years, is what we’re asking them for. Whenever compromise has been suggested, the hard Brexiteers have announced “that’s not what the people voted for” and by and large that’s gone unchallenged, May has listened to it and done what they have asked. And she’s delivered a deal which does everything the hard Brexiteers wanted, pulls us entirely out of Europe, severs all ties… and of course, the people that want to remain in Europe voted against it because it’s no sort of compromise at all. It’s a massively right wing reactionary move that, looked at in isolation, without the way the press and the Brexiteers have moved the Overton window, is completely unjustified by the narrow referendum “win” for the Leave vote.

So far, so expected. But then, the hard Brexiteers voted against the deal too. And that’s baffling. As it’s literally everything they ever asked for. The reasoning they are giving the presence of a “backstop” around the Northern Irish border. See, Ireland is part of the EU, Northern Ireland is part of the UK. There’s no real border between them any more, and if there was that would be really bad. Like, bringing back terrorism and open conflict in the streets bad. So obviously, when the vote happened pretty much the first thing everyone agreed was that under no circumstances should we let that happen. That’s what the backstop is: it says if when negotiating a trade deal during the transition period, we can’t come up with a way to keep an open border, then Northern Ireland will remain part of the single market and/or customs union until we can. It’s literally just writing down, in legally binding terms, the very sensible concept that absolutely everyone agreed to. That’s what the hard Brexiteers voted against.

Why?

Fuck knows. It makes no sense. But those hard Brexiteers now seem to be pushing for us to unilaterally leave with no deal at all. Leaving with no deal had always been floated around as an idea: something we had to be prepared to do, else the EU had us over a barrel. We needed to make it clear in negotiations that we were willing to walk away else we didn’t have a negotiating position. Which, I sort of understand. But the EU gave us everything we asked for (because we didn’t ask for much) including the backstop, which we did ask for, and wanted as much as they did. I’m sure the campaigning for crashing out with no deal has some thought behind it, but it’s likely either political maneuvering (they want Brexit to fail, so they can blame it on someone else) or they’ve a financial interest in it failing (betting against the UK economy).

And of course, they’ve got people agree with them now, on Question Time last week part of the audience cheered the idea of leaving with no deal, which is basically cheering shooting yourself in the head. I try and reach out to those people on social media and so on, and ask them what it is in May’s deal that they don’t like. What’s in there that they didn’t vote for. Obviously, they’ve not read it. The deal pulls back our sovereignty and gives us control over immigration. Those were the two things the referendum was won on.

Oh and the guy who actually negotiated the deal? He’s one of the hard Brexiteers that voted against it and wants to crash out with no deal.

So that leaves those of us that didn’t want to leave in the first place despairing, and it’s why the idea of having another referendum is gaining ground because at least if Remain won, that would put an end to it. At least for a while. The argument against it is that the government calling a second referendum or even unilaterally cancelling Brexit would cause massive rioting and public disorder. Would it? Would all those middle-age white men with red cheeks go out smashing up the windows in Sports Direct? Or are they just another type of keyboard warrior?

And a Remain vote would win, if it happened in reality. If the vote was Remain versus No deal, remain wins. Remain versus May’s deal, remain wins. Leave only won because it promised everything to everyone.

But it likely won’t happen. And we should probably all be buying tinned goods.


#161

Good point. I’m making a note on buying canned goods on February and some everyday meds. Just in case.


#162

Just wanted to say that there was a really good documentary/drama on the Brexit campaign which looks at how the Leave campaign won (it has Benedict Cumberbatch in to so that is always a plus). It is called “Brexit, The Uncivil War” and is on Channel 4. It is definitely worth a watch whichever side you may be on.


#163

Good summary from what I know half a world away.

I am also gobsmacked by the sheer hypocrisy of the “We must leave the EU to regain our sovereignty, but we shall drag Scotland, Wales and NI with us no matter what they might want because we cannot break our precious union”. May reiterated this recently.

But I am apparently a dangerous tofu-hugging reactionary.