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Brexit predictions

So. How is this going to pan out?

73 comments to Brexit predictions

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Is this not the kind of question that should be posed on the parallel “Great Realignment” site?
    Perry de H set it up specifically for Brexit-related discussion.

  • Happy to send you log in details,James! Good to see you back! Send me an email (I am away but often online)

  • Matthew Asnip

    Climate changing amounts of heat and very little light.

  • Tom

    I put £10 at 7-2 on No Deal Brexit on 31st October.

    But I still think the bastards are going to screw us over and that Boris is, if not a wet, at least pretty damp.

  • Peter

    When the scene clears, after the shouting has subsided, there will still be British frigates patrolling the channel, as they have always done……

  • CaptDMO

    The only positive outcome I can see is if Callard and Bowser butterscotch resume production, and become a KEY part of a trade deal between US and GB.
    OK, OK, I’m in the US and otherwise,I have NO idea!

  • staghounds

    My prediction since before all the votes were counted has been that there isn’t going to be any Brexit.

    Much as I would like to, I see no reason to change it.

  • Eric

    The people in power have made the calculation that with the country split almost evenly they can get away throwing up procedural roadblocks until it’s all a moot point. They’re probably right, though there will be some trouble if they’re too ham-handed with disgruntled Brexiteers.

  • James Strong

    Nobody can make any prediction with confidence.

    My hope is a clean Brexit, otherwise known as a crash out/cliff edge.But only known as that by supporters of the Surrender Bill/Capitulation Act.

    But I wouldn’t bet a penny on any of the possible outcomes; nobody knows.

  • David Norman

    The permanent downgrading of British politics into vicious American style factionalism.

  • My odds are 13 to 12 that we will leave the EU on October 31st 2019 give or take a 3% margin of error.

    You can get back to me on November 1st when you realise that I was absolutely spot on about the prediction.

  • Mr Ecks

    Eric–The country is not evenly divided–there are 3 to 5 million London Bubble Proggie hard core remainiac traitors–approx. 20 million Brexit supporters and the usual hopeless twerps who aren’t sure what day it is.

  • bobby b

    “The permanent downgrading of British politics into vicious American style factionalism.”

    If only we could hope to match the quiet dignity and civility of Question Time.

    (Go back and review a few hundred of the disgusting illustrated political libels printed three or four hundred years ago in England, and then we can talk about who started it. 😆 )

  • Jacob

    “My odds are 13 to 12 ”
    Sam the Gonof said – nothing in the world can be more certain than 7:5

  • Mr Ed

    We could learn a lot in terms of civility in Parliament from Barbados, when I was there I often heard the Parliament on the radio in my car as I drove around the island, and I was struck by how civil and courteous it all was, even when someone was accusing the Prime Minister’s wife of receiving rather more in terms of gifts from the Chinese government than you might have thought was wise, shall we say, and yet it was all so polite. And this is a country with power alternating between two Labour Parties.

    Mind you, the expats I met had plenty of tales of corruption that was pretty overt and blatant, albeit the giving of brown envelopes stuffed with cash was understood to be the way to get things done in dealings with the government, the brown envelope was termed a ‘donation’, so whilst Vogon-like in not being above a bit of bribery and corruption in the way that the sea is not above the sky, as Douglas Adams (QEPD) put it, they knew it was wrong, which is a starting point.

    I’d rather have uncorruptable politicians who are rude, unless I need to bribe my way out of the GULAG.

  • Jacob

    13 to 12 ?
    I do not know anything about boat races,’ Sam says, ‘and the Yales may figure as you say, but nothing between human beings is one to three. In fact,’ Sam the Gonoph says, ‘I long ago come to the conclusion that all life is six to five against.

  • David Norman

    bobby b. I’m sorry if I ruffled your feathers. My case is is that politics in both the USA and the UK was relatively civilised after WW2 until the election of Bush in the USA and the Brexit vote in the UK. Earlier times are another matter.

  • My case is is that politics in both the USA and the UK was relatively civilised after WW2 until the election of Bush in the USA and the Brexit vote in the UK.

    If you think that then you have serious gaps in your knowledge of post war UK and particularly US politics. It might have SEEMED more polite, but it was far more racist, elitist, corrupt and underhand than we see today (q.v. Mayor Daley, 1968 Democratic National Convention protests, etc.)

  • David Norman (October 1, 2019 at 11:15 am), the US still has the 1st amendment, and its enemies have had far less success negating it than their allies here have negating our precedent-based equivalent. In 1936, ‘imminent danger to public order’ in the UK had a lot in common with ‘clear and present danger’ in the US. Today, “you offended me” suffices here if the offended is PC, which in the US mostly only applies on a university campus.

    As Mr Ed says (October 1, 2019 at 10:13 am)

    I’d rather have uncorruptable politicians who are rude

  • To answer the OP question.

    1) If there is an election, pro-Brexit forces are likely to win it. The interaction of first-past-the-post with the realignment of UK politics makes this very hard to call, but our odds are better than our enemies’ (and I think better than the 6-5 and 13-12 being joked about above 🙂 – but yes, it is hard to call).

    2) Our enemies agree, which is why they are trying to delay an election. Since voters who think an election should be called right now well outnumber those who think it shouldn’t, and the sight of Boris voting he has no confidence in his own government would be less harmful to his ‘buffoon’ persona than Labour, LibDem, SNP and Tory rebels voting that they do have confidence in it (or not allowing a vote) would be to his enemies, this aspect of public opinion is likely to move further in our favour for quite some time before exhaustion has any likelihood of moving it back again.

    Therefore our enemies have two choices AFAICS:

    – Try to get a 3-month extension to Brexit and then immediately allow an election, claiming, “We just wanted there to be a choice – to avoid an election campaign during which we left the EU by default”. Since they have already blatantly blocked an election before October 31st, I think they’ll both be called on that and still lose, but I also think this is their most prudent tactic.

    – Try to hold off both Brexit and an election for years, hoping for voter exhaustion and our staying in the EU by default. I see this as likely to damage them yet more politically (and so motivating/compelling them to delay an election yet longer than they now imagine) and also quite likely simply to fail to delay either or both, but I also see it as dangerous, in the same way that some in the US see the election-nullifying antics of the Dems as dangerous to civil peace.

  • David Norman

    John Galt. I don’t disagree with you but suspect we may be talking about different things. My first post referred to factionalism; I put it to you that over the last twenty years or so, first in the USA and then the UK identity politics have resulted in a significant lowering in the quality of political debate generally and made the tone more vicious. Given the brevity of everyone else’s contributions I didn’t wish to write an essay.

  • Mr Ed

    Given that the interval between the referendum result coming out and today is around 1,193 days, what’s the rush?

    The Remainers will kick the can down the road and unless there is a General Election, the EU could simply keep us in until the next General Election has to take place mid-2022, with Boris limping on in a Zombie government

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    NK “– Try to hold off both Brexit and an election for years, hoping for voter exhaustion and our staying in the EU by default. ”

    That brings an almost amusing thought experiment to mind. Exactly what *could* BoJo do, ‘in government’ while the Remainiacs control the House? What could the Remainiacs do if BoJo refused to table a budget? What if he went mad with the ‘I have a pen and a phone’ power: cancelled all government advertising in the Grauniaud, fired 80% of the simple serpents at Defra, just ‘forgot’ to ensure that the monthly cheques got cut for the bird-chopper class (pace Lord Deben), completely cancelled Treasonous May’s ‘legacy’ imbecility re carbon, and just plain stone-walled the Commons by stating that “the government is carrying on its usual and natural administrative practices in accordance with discretion provided to it within the controlling legislation”. There is also an enormous amount of regulatory power which can be destroyed, upended or distorted by way of Statutory Instruments, passed by ‘Order in Council’ and which don’t even have to be reported to the House for quite some time.
    THEN what would the Remainiacs do?

    The other thought experiment which comes to mind is, what would happen if 20 or so Remainiac Tories were called upon the verify the conclusive effectiveness and truth of F=Ma between their respective skulls and a cricket bat? Despite all the wailing and screaming, and projection about incivility and ‘civil war’, I think that the foregoing is a highly unlikely prospect although I admit to a minima of anticipatory schadenfreude at the prospect.

  • Nico

    Boris could bring a poison pill up for a vote and make it a confidence issue. There is one thing that can stop that: more unconstitutional behavior from the Speaker, this time to keep a government bill from the floor.

    I’m also told that he could have the privy council suspend the surrender legislation for long enough to make it to no deal October 31st. I find that… a surprising feature of the UK’s “constitution”, and anyways, surely the UK supreme court would say it’s not constitutional because… they’ll say anything to remoan.

    One wonders if now that the unwritten constitution is no more, maybe the British people will have an appetite for a written one. But then one shudders to think what a written constitution would look like in Modern Britain. Perhaps if you leave out all the bits about natural rights of individuals (I’m assuming the people of the UK would not approve of an American-style First Amendment, let alone a Second, or even any of the others in the original Bill of Rights; does the UK even have a right to trial by jury anymore? wither Magna Carta?) and leave in only procedural matters, it would still be an improvement over the current [non-]constitution.

    The UK now has a) a Speaker of the House who has violated darned near every rule, b) judges who place themselves above Parliament (!!), c) a monarch who does nothing to guarantee anything about constitutional process, or, indeed nothing much at all, d) successors to the monarch who are even worse than useless, etc.

    Perhaps after Brexit is done and an election restores sanity to Parliament, then the UK can restore the constitutional status quo ante, but the precedent will already be that there are no rules when the balance of power in Parliament is close.

    If Boris and Nigel link up and take a 100 seat majority, they must pursue a number of reforms: repeal the regular elections act, restore the law lords and demote the supremes, restate the sovereignty of Parliament, restore freedom of speech, and, preferably, write a constitution and find a way to install it durably.

  • Nico

    My case is is that politics in both the USA and the UK was relatively civilised after WW2 until the election of Bush in the USA and the Brexit vote in the UK.

    If you think that then you have serious gaps in your knowledge of post war UK and particularly US politics. It might have SEEMED more polite, but it was far more racist, elitist, corrupt and underhand than we see today (q.v. Mayor Daley, 1968 Democratic National Convention protests, etc.)

    “If you think that then you might be just young enough to only remember the Bush years, and uneducated about the years prior.”

    There, I fixed it for you.

    U.S. politics have never been pretty. I would say that the only times where national party politics were relatively tame was the 20s, the early post-war years through the 50s, and maybe the early years of the Kennedy administration. All other times have been colorful in some way or another at the very least. And that’s just with respect to party politics — if you add all the other ills you mentioned, then there’s never been much civility in the U.S.

    The Democrat antics of these Trump years are at a peak, yes, but they weren’t nothing during the Nixon years. The Democrats have tried to impeach every Republican President since Eisenhower. Everyone one!! They’re really going out of their minds because this President doesn’t fall into their traps like others did.

    The intelligence operations against Trump and Bush (remember the Plame affair?!) might well not be the first ones run against Republican Presidents. It’s enough to have me starting to wonder if the Watergate burglars might not have been plants in the Nixon campaign… (the plan presumably being to embarrass him, but they probably never expected him to engage in a cover-up). And why is it always Republicans who are the victims of these schemes and never Democrats? Probably because Republican Presidents seem never to get control over the intelligence agencies (do they even try??), much less have the vicious bones needed to do the same to Democrats. Even if Watergate was what we all think it was, perhaps it taught the deep staters and Democrats what to do to get rid of a popular non-Democrat POTUS.

    When Chuck Schumer says that “the IC have six ways from Sunday to get back at you”, I wonder if maybe that’s not a threat. Maybe the dems themselves understand that the IC would knife them too if they don’t behave how they want. But, nah, it’s most likely just that the IC and the dems see eye to eye, so Chuckie’s was a threat.

  • a monarch who does nothing to guarantee anything about constitutional process, or, indeed nothing much at all

    Hardly Brenda’s fault since both the constitutional abortion of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act and the recent UK Supreme Court ruling effectively ignored her constitutional role as monarch, despite Parliament itself being very much a triumvirate of the House of Commons, House of Lords and the Monarchy.

    We need to get back to the point where Brenda acts as a very important point of balance in the relationship between the executive, legislature and judiciary.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “That brings an almost amusing thought experiment to mind. Exactly what *could* BoJo do, ‘in government’ while the Remainiacs control the House?”

    Oh, all sorts, I’m sure. But he won’t, because he’s trying to be ‘the adult in the room’ for the election. BoJo has written off the current government as irrelevant – everything he’s doing is about the next election.

    “I’m also told that he could have the privy council suspend the surrender legislation for long enough to make it to no deal October 31st.”

    Possibly, although I’ve a vaguely-remembered idea that they can’t directly contradict Acts of Parliament, they can only rule on things legislation doesn’t address. (There are still many useful things that could be done with that, though.) There’s a lot of speculation about what they’re planning to do – that’s the only one the remainers have thought of so far that might work. I looked at the legislation and I think there are at least a couple of loopholes I could see (and I’m not even a lawyer), but I’m not going to speculate out in the open, so to speak.

    But to illustrate what I mean, one of the options I considered and decided wasn’t a good idea was that Boris could write the letter to the EU president *now*, and demand an immediate answer, knowing that at the current state of negotiations they’re not going to agree. (Or by other means, ensure it’s rejected, unacceptable, or inoperable.) Then later, when they demand he write the letter, he can say he’s already done so weeks ago, and it was rejected.

    At the end of the day, the EU will only agree to a further delay if they think they can get a better deal that way. And they know as well as we do, (and if they don’t, I’m sure Boris can point it out), that after an election it’s very likely Boris’s hand would have been strengthened by a stronger majority, and the Parliament he’ll have then will be far more likely to reject a bad deal, far more willing to go for no deal. If the EU said they had already rejected the extension, that would force Parliament to either accept the current deal (with the bad stuff Boris couldn’t get rid of because of their weakening of his hand) or crash out. Given their current public position that a bad deal is better than no deal, that would be untenable for most of the opposition parties. The EU need to get the deal done with the current Parliament, before any election, or their chances of making us swallow a bad deal drop precipitately. So it’s in the EU’s interests to force Parliament to make the decision now, and telling them in advance they’re rejecting the extension would do that. The EU would only want an extension if they thought the current crop in Parliament could cling to power for another six months, or that they could get Boris replaced with a more amenable PM, and the polling currently doesn’t make that look likely.

    “a monarch who does nothing to guarantee anything about constitutional process, or, indeed nothing much at all”

    The rumour is that she does *lots* of stuff, and still wields considerable power, but she does so entirely behind the scenes and nobody ever talks about it. The First Rule of Privy Council is you don’t talk about Privy Council…

  • decnine

    The EU will agree to a delay if they think there’s a good chance that one of their agents in Parliament can turf Boris out of No 10 and take over. Otherwise, what does the EU gain from another delay?

  • Mr Ed

    Well now it’s confirmed, Brexit has driven someone mad.

    Man ends up in a psychiatric ward after the Referendum result became known. I think he’s a Remainer.

    The patient, an unnamed man in his 40s, became increasingly worried about racism and, after being admitted to a psychiatric ward, said he felt ashamed to be British. He tried to ‘burrow’ through the hospital floor with his hands to ‘get the hell out of this place’ and believed that he was being spied on. He also thought things that were being said on the radio were directed at him.

    Dr Mohammad Zia Ul Haq Katshu said: ‘His wife reported that since the EU referendum results were declared on 24 June 2016, he started spending more time putting his thoughts across on social media. ‘He found it difficult to reconcile with the political events happening around him. He became increasingly worried about racial incidents. His sleep deteriorated.’ The patient said: ‘I was looking at the electoral map of voting for the EU. I am in a constituency that reflects an opinion that is not for me.’

  • @Nullius in Verba – Not really seeing any chance of either side breaking the deadlock either side of a General Election. The fact that I understand this but the retards in the EU don’t seem to is beyond me.

    @Mr Ed – Not doing a great deal for my sanity, either.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    The Queen’s Speech could call for a general election, referring to it as a “People’s Vote”.

    Or do I completely misunderstand the UK political system?

  • Exactly what *could* BoJo do, ‘in government’ while the Remainiacs control the House?”

    Oh, all sorts, I’m sure. But he won’t, because he’s trying to be ‘the adult in the room’ for the election. BoJo has written off the current government as irrelevant – everything he’s doing is about the next election. (Nullius in Verba, October 2, 2019 at 6:48 am).

    I agree. However were Mr Ed’s “zombie government” (my ‘our enemies second choice’) to be pursued, Boris could retaliate by increasingly rendering them a “zombie parliament” – at least until an election were contrived in their despite – enforcing the executive’s rights in retaliation to the legislature’s invasion of them.

    Some thought (and hopefully not too much excessive caution) will doubtless be put into balancing having ‘sufficient’ provocation with not acting before being obliged (e.g. by enforced extension or vile agreement), trying to ensure as much of the electorate as possible sees such acts as retaliatory despite their enemies’ media influence. (The same of course will apply to any open intervention by her majesty.)

  • smitty

    The Chinese are having none of an independent island offshore.

    The EU seems to have the same mindset.

  • Quentin

    The UK is not going to be allowed to leave the EU. By hook or by crook, Remainers will prevent it.

  • Mr Ed

    Ted S,

    There needs to be a prorogation for a Queen’s Speech, and that hasn’t happened yet (as if). The problem now is that if the Queen’s Speech is voted down by Parliament, it doesn’t mean that there will be a general election by itself, the Parliament just carries on with a Zombie government hijacked from day to day by rebel MPs (who form a majority). It used to be the case that losing a Queen’s Speech would trigger a dissolution of Parliament and a General Election, but the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 appears to have ended that, and now it depends on either 2/3rds of MPs voting for a general election, or the government losing two confidence votes in 14 days.

  • With the dismissal of the Tory traitors we seem to have gone from mimicking the Long Parliament to mimicking the Rump Parliament. Time for Boris to go full Oliver Cromwell and dismiss the Rump by hook-or-by-crook and force an election.

  • Andrew Douglas

    Isn’t the solution for Boris to have a chat with one of the leaders of an Eastern European country (Victor Orban, maybe, or one of the Baltics), ask them what they need in return for a veto?

  • Isn’t the solution for Boris to have a chat with one of the leaders of an Eastern European country (Victor Orban, maybe, or one of the Baltics), ask them what they need in return for a veto?

    Wasn’t Dominic Raab out that way a few weeks back? Would have thought there were discussions on the subject with likely suspects.

  • Nico

    It seems to me that Boris has a number of tools at his disposal to either force No Deal Brexit through or to force a confidence issue that will trigger an election (unless the opposition can somehow pick a new PM and continue the zombie Parliament/Government situation).

    Parliament w/ Bercow surely has some tools to oppose Boris with as well.

    The EU also has tools to use against, e.g., Orban scheming with BoJo.

    The situation is very complicated.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The EU will agree to a delay if they think there’s a good chance that one of their agents in Parliament can turf Boris out of No 10 and take over.”

    And do what? The opposition don’t have the votes for anything specific, only more delay.

    “The fact that I understand this but the retards in the EU don’t seem to is beyond me.”

    They’re well aware of it. But like us, they consider no deal better than a bad deal (bad from their point of view), and they’re negotiating. Showing weakness during a negotiation gets you a worse deal than you could have otherwise got.

    “I agree. However were Mr Ed’s “zombie government” (my ‘our enemies second choice’) to be pursued, Boris could retaliate by increasingly rendering them a “zombie parliament” – at least until an election were contrived in their despite – enforcing the executive’s rights in retaliation to the legislature’s invasion of them.”

    Revenge is a dish best served cold. After the election, when Boris has a stonking big majority, he can have all the vengeance he wants, and ban or repeal all their constitutional innovations. But to get there, he has to win the election. Everything right now is directed at that. If he wants to tempt non-Tories across to his side, he has to be seen as sensible and honourable. If voters are to defect out of disgust at the childish behaviour of MPs, he has to make sure they don’t feel the same disgust about his own behaviour. Since he got the top seat, it’s all been about the next election.

  • David Norman

    Nico. It would probably have been better if I had written ‘relatively less uncivilised’ but it is a bit of a mouthful. You say ‘the Democrat antics of these Trump years are at a peak’. Ironically, given the strength of your criticism, that is exactly what I was thinking of in referring to ‘vicious American style factionalism’ in my first comment.

  • As far as the EU response goes, I’m guessing their strategy must always be to respond “Yes” to any extension, since while there is time, there is also hope that some bunch of traitors will be found who will repudiate BRExit and withdraw the Article 50 Notification.

    The conditions attached to such extensions are for public consumption, not reality, since these matters are not legal decisions (although they may technically have a legal framework), but political ones.

    The EU is well aware that once one member leaves then it makes it far more likely that others will leave (like the US secession crisis of 1860-61), making total EU collapse also more likely. This is why the EU is deliberately making leaving a nightmare, not just to torment the UK for having the temerity to leave, but also to dissuade others. For the EU this is an existential crisis, not just about the road to “ever greater union”.

    Another point is that the EU genuinely fears that the UK will be successful post-BRExit, especially if the UK deregulates and reduces taxes, since that will make it harder to sustain the EU regulatory / tax regimes that they desire.

    So despite my hope that one of our European friends might veto and extension, I think there will be unbelievable internal pressure from the EU commission to prevent that.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    John Galt- Britain is already doing better than Europe on many fronts- lower unemployment rates, preferred finance center, etc. A EUless Britain should do much better, since it should take Britain less time to negotiate treaties with other sovereign countries, compared to the snail’s pace of the EU.

  • Yes, I agree that Britain is doing better, but those differences would be exacerbated and writ large post-BRExit, regardless of the pre-BRExit reality.

    Guy Verhofstadt’s “Road to Imperial EU” would make matters much, much worse.

    Yet another reason to get out now (personally, I think we should have left before Maastricht)

  • My prediction:

    Things will get wierd (-er)

  • Revenge is a dish best served cold. (Nullius in Verba, October 2, 2019 at 4:59 pm)

    I very much agree as regards the desirability of Boris not ‘losing it’ despite the strong provocation of repeated overt cheating by Bercow et al. The remoaners here, like the impeachers in the US with Trump, hope that Boris can be goaded into some rash action they can exploit – and so they themselves rashly perform exploitable actions in the hope of doing so. I hope Boris will do considered things in response.

    However I note that the proverb can also be regarded as meaning that serving your revenge cold falls into the category of ‘nice work if you can get it’. If Mr Ed’s theory of the remoaners’ scenario is correct, and I am also correct that it will injury them further in the public domain – and so cause them to prolong it further, hoping ‘something will turn up’ – then Boris may wish to, and be able to profit from, refusing the humiliations they try to impose on him. As part of trying to make sure revenge cannot be effected, remoaners will try to ensure it cannot be delayed.

    But your scenario is undoubtedly best – if we can get it. I am – as usual – hopeful.

  • My perception is that the Remoaners have only made the general public more apathetic towards Parliament in general and MP’s in particular. Boris having maintained some dignity by not mirroring their childishness seems to be paying off in the polls, but this is only if he wins through with BRExit in the end and delivers on 31st October 2019.

  • Nico

    @David Norman:

    I wonder if you’re using the right word. If I take it literally, I think you’re referring to numbers of partisan factions. If I take it figuratively I get put in the mind of crimethink — the way Soviet and other communists used the words factions and factionalism.

    In any case, the U.S. has two parties and, say, two factions per-party, and if we count independents as a faction, that’s about five factions. The UK has had three main parties for over 100 years, and currently there’s at least six parties that can expect to win seats at the next election and then seat MPs for them (i.e., not counting Sinn Fein). The Brexit party can be counted as having only one faction, and I guess the same can be said of SNP and DUP. The Labour, LibDem, and Con parties all three have at least two factions, so we’re talking at least nine factions. You’ve got us outdone on the factionalism scale mate!

    But maybe you meant just partisanship.

    I’m pretty sure that partisanship is not new to the UK. Labour went bananas when Maggie was PM, did they not? If the remoaner opposition is more bananas now, it may well be only because the balance of power in Parliament is so close.

    If you were obliquely objecting to my accusing the U.S. IC of partisanship, well, it takes two to have a conflict, but only one to start it. There’s no way to argue that the U.S. intelligence community was not the source of the Russia collusion or Plame affairs — it’s plain as day that they were. It’s not partisanship to point that out. And it’s not partisanship to note these things only happen to Republicans, nor is it partisanship to wonder if maybe more of these events weren’t actually traps.

    Maybe you meant that what’s happened in the U.S. is a result of partisanship, rather than my post being evidence of how partisan we are? If so, I agree fully, but again, the partisanship – the egregious partisan abuse of power – is mostly coming from one party and one party only.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    What do Britons think about Boris’s New Brexit deal? Could it work? Will the Eurocrats say yes, or just reject it? Would it be a good plan? Details are not as forthcoming here in Australia as they are over there.

  • As a Brexiteer, I think it could work. It has all of the core aspects of being time limited, respects the “No Checks at Border” aspect, allows unilateral exit from the mechanism under the control of the NI assembly. Most importantly it allows exit from the EU and customs union while acting as a much more different (and much separate) trading relationship in the future than Theresa May’s WA capitulation treaty, more along the lines of Canada+.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think “No Deal” (really WTO Terms) is better for us since it is a clean break without a lot of hanging threads, but given the current crop of treasonous MP’s it will be difficult to get that.

    Boris’ deal supports BRExit on 31st October 2019 (or soon enough after that I can live with it).

  • Rykehaven

    A Brit colleague and I have a $2000 bet; his, if Brexit succeeds. Mine, if Brexit fails. The item is the Customs issue (full functionality + official bilateral negotiations with the US). The arbiter is our senior. The deadline is June 30, 2020.

    He talked himself into it.

    Of course I took him up on it.

    He was in the afterglow of Boris Johnson’s promotion to figurehead. But more than that, I think he was defending his Queen, as he and most Brits and Commonwealth subjects are wont to do. We two go at it regularly; his favorite sitcom is a kabuki theater called “Westminster”, and I take swipes at British serfdom and their Royal masters – American prerogative.

    We have our friendly disagreements about Brexit; he always acts indignant whenever I bring up the Queen and British culture, asking “What does that have to do with Brexit?”

    “Ummm…Everything.”

    [and we’re off to the races!]

    That’s why Brexit is doomed to fail.

    The question of their “Sovereignty” in Brexit is superfluous because Sovereign power does not reside with British “subjects”. It resides in their Queen, their Sovereign (by definition “the right to rule”). And as long as Brits like him keep dancing around the subject, avoiding, rationalizing, cowering…

    He’s not an idiot (So I’m wrong there). In fact, he’s among the best the Brits have to offer, formerly of “Her Majesty’s” Royal Navy and a productive subject of “her realm”. But she “owns” him in a way that is beyond unseemly to an American. He is unable to stomach the idea that he and the Queen have any conflicting interests (Heck, even I can articulate conflicting interests with my Father). He cannot countenance the very idea of holding his Queen accountable for anything no matter how obvious she is as Head of the largest corporation in the City of London (among other things). Never mind taking up arms against her; her power over him, and the British psyche, is so absolute that he is horrified by even the possibility she might be against Brexit – never mind the logical conclusions that would follow – and does mental somersaults to explain away even the possibility that she has power (and thus culpability) at all.

    He refuses to think ill of the Queen.

    “Nobody has that right.”

    His horror is anathema to me (He treats her like the Holy Virgin).

    My revulsion at his horror is anathema to him (so this was what the Founders were up against).

    Not surprising from an American perspective; our Revolution was in large part a Holy War against the Anglican Church, their divine King and his coercive Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance.

    And every time, his enraged, visceral reaction is enough to tell me that I’m dealing with a religious belief as corrosive as Climate-change. The British subservient attitude is hardly new to me; I was actually in Australia when I first experienced it; our Division Officer briefed us not to speak openly about the British Royalty or American history in front of Australians – it would be a flashpoint for fistfights.

    And given his defense of his Queen, it’s no surprise he came up with and pushed this ridiculous bet. It’s self-destructive behavior – it’s not about the money or even winning and losing. It’s the fact that I know he’s bound to do it again, and again, and again.

    Even now, he tells me, “It’s worth it”. Grade A, self-immolation in the service of his Queen.

    A lot of British subjects will do the same. Which is why the Queen and her aristocracy will have no reason to think twice about disappointing her own subjects – Westminster’s choreography is just a matter of marketing PR.

    This delusional ideal of the Queen which brooks no thought or criticism – this cognitive dissonance – that she is a “figurehead with no power”, while at the same time having the biggest financial and political stakes in the entirety of the British Isles and Commonwealth (and possibly the European continent).

    People like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates can only imagine having the Queen’s power over the minds, production and future of so many people, because past a certain point, financial figures are meaningless next to the perpetual power of financial positioning (the City of London), generational connections (elite inbreeding, and religiously held serfdom), and control of institutions – who do you think the British Armed Forces swears oaths to, and is thus institutionally incapable of opposing? He was in the Queen’s Navy fer Chr!st sakes and I can never get him to admit the fact that he is psychologically incapable of opposing her, that her spiritual power over him is the worst kind of idolatry?

    The willful blindness can be hard to bear sometimes behind the playful banter.

    Again, most Brits are like him. But if even the good Brits can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the obvious, then everything that follows is logical and straight-forward: they have no negotiating power – Brexit is doomed to fail, has always been doomed to fail. There’s no reason for his “Queen” (or anyone else) to backtrack against her own interests, a historic project and path of power consolidation that her family has tread long before she was born.

    That’s why his attempts to poke at my “ignorance” of some trivialities in the “Glorious Revolution” and Peerage system are irrelevant.

    He’ll keep getting it wrong in the long run.

    He’ll keep rationalizing away his disappointment which will protect his religiously held notions about his Royal betters.

    He won’t learn.

    He won’t do anything once this latest Brexit charade goes past the deadline. Everyone in his hometown from his Councilman to his Constables are similarly cowed which is why it is a forgone conclusion that British “system” will acquiesce to the EU mandates and regulations, regardless of what officially happens to “Brexit”.

    “Or else what?”

    Meanwhile, he’ll work in America where nobody needs to ask “Or else what?”. Because even he is somehow intuitively aware that there are very hard limits to what bureaucrats can even propose in American environs. It’s a fact of life, a part of business, a reality of politics, because everyone from cops to regular Joe-schmo goes to the same shooting ranges.

    The cognitive dissonance is real.

    I wouldn’t mind being wrong.

    But in all likelihood, I’ll be treating a depressed Brit to an expensive dinner on the 4th of July next year.

  • The question of their “Sovereignty” in Brexit is superfluous because Sovereign power does not reside with British “subjects”. It resides in their Queen, their Sovereign (by definition “the right to rule”). And as long as Brits like him keep dancing around the subject, avoiding, rationalizing, cowering…

    The problem here is that under English law*, it is not the monarch that is sovereign, it is Parliament and like the Holy Trinity, that is made up of three constituent parts, the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Monarch.

    As for Brenda herself, the whole point of her existence has been whittled away substantially over the years, with increasing speed during the Blair and Cameron years, to the extent that even her limited powers under a constitutional monarchy are sadly eroded. They would erode even faster if she was to actually use them (say by dismissing Boris and appointing some caretaker). The best that can be said is she refuses to get dragged into political problems of Parliament’s own making, which is a pretty accurate definition of BRExit.

    GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

    * – Not necessarily true under Scottish law where the claim is that “the people” are sovereign.

  • Rykehaven (October 4, 2019 at 8:48 am), since Brexit preserves the Queen’s sovereignty which further EU integration would weaken, your assumption that the Queen opposes it, despite the persistent reports the Queen favours Brexit, seems unreasonable. Anything is possible of course, and it may be her majesty will resist the temptation to use this constitutional crisis, and the current lowest-ever public respect for parliament, as an opportunity to exercise her lawful prerogatives, but why you imagine she would not feel tempted to do so, merely as an opportunity to enhance her own power and fame if for no other reason, beats me.

    If you win your bet, it is far more likely to be because the Queen was dissuaded from taking any action than because of any action her majesty takes.

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you and your colleague are accustomed to arguing about monarchy, some pretty unlikely things get squashed into that framework.

    Your comment seems especially absurd at the present time, when the US and the UK seem extraordinarily in synch. Trump proclaimed that November 8th 2016 would be “Brexit plus plus” and US deep state attempts to nullify Trump’s election parallel UK deep state attempts to nullify Brexit.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “And every time, his enraged, visceral reaction is enough to tell me that I’m dealing with a religious belief as corrosive as Climate-change. The British subservient attitude is hardly new to me; I was actually in Australia when I first experienced it; our Division Officer briefed us not to speak openly about the British Royalty or American history in front of Australians – it would be a flashpoint for fistfights.”

    Mmm. Yes. I’ve seen the same sort of observation being applied to Americans and any talk of God, guns, evolution, the constitution, the stars and stripes, standing up for the national anthem, or the oath of allegiance, the president, hunting for communists, the history of racism, slavery, prohibition, the prison population (esp. Guantanmo Bay…), the lamentable tendency for them to turn up late to any world war, the idea that they are or ever were ‘great’, …
    😉

    It’s called patriotism. It’s always more noticeable in people from other nations.

  • aghounds

    have you people never heard of Cleveland v blaine?

    or, for that matter, could harbor?

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    @Nico: “Boris could bring a poison pill up for a vote and make it a confidence issue. There is one thing that can stop that: more unconstitutional behavior from the Speaker, this time to keep a government bill from the floor.”

    BoJo may just be setting up that situation. A number of UK newspapers are reporting that BoJo will prorogue Parliament (again), next week, for only a few days. This will result in the Queen re-opening Parliament, and the delivery of the Queen’s Speech. AIUI, the Commons vote on the Queen’s speech is a matter of confidence, and obviously, is a “government bill”.

    I cannot see any responsible manner in which Bercow can avoid that being put to a vote. And then it’s put up or shut up for the opposition. Corbyn spent years demanding an election: now he can have one.

    BUT WAIT! There’s more. What happens in the interim before the election? Does BoJo get two weeks to form a government, before an election becomes necessary? That takes us past the 19th.

    What happens to the application, now underway in Scottish courts, to ‘interdict’ Bojo to take steps today, which he is not legally required to do at this point in time. (I take the application to be actually a request for a mandamus: an order requiring him to do things. I fail to see how the applicants have standing to bring this, as there has been no damage done (OK, yet!) and cannot be until BoJo fails to do something which the Act requires (and even then, I fail to see how they have actually been damaged.)

    And THAT brings to mind an interesting thought. What if the Queen’s Speech announces the government’s intention to repeal the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, #2, 2019. That’s the one which requires him to do stuff… like request an extension.

    Now that looks like 4D chess!

  • Nullius in Verba

    “AIUI, the Commons vote on the Queen’s speech is a matter of confidence”

    It used to be, until the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

    “BUT WAIT! There’s more. What happens in the interim before the election?”

    All parties can try to get the support of a majority and form a government. Hence, the opposition parties and Tory rebels could get together, and install a new PM of their own choice for a few days just over the critical period.

    See the flow chart here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46890481

    “What happens to the application, now underway in Scottish courts, to ‘interdict’ Bojo to take steps today, which he is not legally required to do at this point in time.”

    I don’t know, but I would guess that the courts can only require him to comply with the law. Boris has been arguing that he can avoid asking for an extension while complying with the law.

    Possibly the issue would be that it would force Boris to show his hand early, and so allow the opposition to find another way around it. However, that could probably be avoided by simply pointing out that acting earlier than the 19th is not required by the act, and leaving it at that.

    Although see here for the latest plot twist: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49936352

  • Julie near Chicago

    Wow, very helpful flow-chart, Nullius. Thanks.

    –But I’m not sure I understand how the PM can ask for a delay while insisting there’ll be no delay.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “But I’m not sure I understand how the PM can ask for a delay while insisting there’ll be no delay.”

    That’s the big question everyone outside Boris’s inner circle is asking!

    As I said above, I had a quick look through the act itself, and even though I’m not a lawyer I can see several ways of potentially getting round it. However, I’m not going to talk about it in a public forum in case I’m right!

    However, I gave an example above of the sort of thing I mean. “… one of the options I considered and decided wasn’t a good idea was that Boris could write the letter to the EU president *now*, and demand an immediate answer, knowing that at the current state of negotiations they’re not going to agree. (Or by other means, ensure it’s rejected, unacceptable, or inoperable.) Then later, when they demand he write the letter, he can say he’s already done so weeks ago, and it was rejected.” (Such a plan might work because before Parliament votes to reject it, it’s in the EU’s interest not to offer an extension, only after they reject it does it become preferable to no deal. By changing the timing, the EU’s rational-interests position on it would change, too. I think it’s unlikely to have been used because the EU would very likely leak it, and because gambling on the EU being rational is not a good bet. But it’s legally feasible.)

    What the government have just said would certainly fit that plan, but so would several of my other ideas. And I expect that the government has many other legislative and diplomatic resources to call upon, that I don’t know about, to render any such letter as unacceptable or inoperable. For example, some have mooted the ‘Order in Council‘ (or possibly the very similar ‘Order of Council’ if they don’t want to involve the Queen) or the use of Statutory Instruments. The government can issue new legislation directly without going through Parliament. (It’s a bit like the concept of a Presidential Executive Order.) I’m not sure they could directly contradict statute law, but they could surely bend or ‘creatively reinterpret’ it.

    In fact, I’d be very surprised if they didn’t have a dozen different plans, for all the many contingencies. But we don’t know, and as Brexiteers don’t want to know yet.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks, Nullius. So, Timing is Everything may be the plan. Well, whatever he’s doing, I do hope you guys escape the frumious bandersnatch.

    By the way, in one of the photos at one of your links, the P.M. is grinning, and darned if he doesn’t look a lot like your Mr Hacker around the eyes, when Hacker is grinning over something. I think it might be in “Party Games,” in one of the scenes with Eric. Or Duncan. ;>)

  • Julie near Chicago (October 5, 2019 at 1:06 am), you may or may not know Sir Tom Stoppard’s play ‘Professional Foul’, set in Stoppard’s native Czechoslovakia when the communists ruled it. The play’s characters perform a variety of comical ‘professional fouls’, leading up to the child’s not-so-amusing “And the money, of course, they pretend to find” after the secret police perpetrate a professional foul against his dissident father. At the end of the play, the ‘reluctant hero’ defeats the police via his own ‘professional foul’.

    A professional foul is one calculated to benefit the perpetrator despite being a visible (at least to some) foul. Either the penalty is worth it or the circumstances mean there can be no effective penalty or the foul, though obvious, is unprovable, or the relevant authority is onboard with the foul.

    Currently, professional fouls are being perpetrated in your country’s politics and in ours.

    – Sometimes they can be resisted by passive legalism. I was surely far from alone on this blog, let alone elsewhere, in foreseeing that Trump’s people would refuse subpoenas from the house on the grounds that there has been no impeachment vote. Because turning up for such a subpoena is wholly in the targeted officials’ control – the house cannot easily send thugs to drag them there – this was a viable response.

    – Sometimes, that is not the case. I thought it wiser for Boris merely to state that Blair’s ‘Supreme Court’ (aged 10 years and 4 days today) was wrong about prorogation, then allow a resumed parliament to insult him (and complain when he answered back), than to have attempted to prevent its resuming and/or announced any intent to deny the legality of any acts it might have voted. Such non-passive resistance would have been a lot harder to carry off than not appearing for a subpoena.

    Now that political conflict is being waged so openly via professional fouls, the PR penalty for retaliatory ones diminishes (as Nullius says, it’s all about the next election) but the old axiom “defence is the stronger form of war” remains very true: it’s easy just not to be there for a subpoena; it would be both hard and self-damaging for Republicans in the house to try and force Pelosi to schedule a vote on impeachment on the grounds that, given what she’s said, she should (they will certainly leave that to her, mocking her for not doing so in the meanwhile).

    The same considerations apply over here. In Stoppard’s play, by the time we reach the final scene, the audience are cheering and laughing as the hero’s ‘professional foul’ puts one over on the communist state – and not just them. In the real world – we’ll see. We will certainly see the PC SW1 crowd claim it’s necessarily a foul for them not to win. What else we will see – we’ll see. 🙂

  • Nullius in Verba

    “and/or announced any intent to deny the legality of any acts it might have voted”

    I’m not sure what you mean, there.

    “it’s easy just not to be there for a subpoena; it would be both hard and self-damaging for Republicans in the house to try and force Pelosi to schedule a vote on impeachment on the grounds that, given what she’s said, she should”

    I agree that calling for Pelosi to impreach not the right and responsible thing to do, even if it forces Pelosi into a strategic political minefield. But I’d argue that the proper *active* legal response would be to loudly demand investigations into Biden, Obama, and Clinton on all the same grounds they’ve been using to go after Trump, and take every opportunity at every interview (and on Twitter etc.) to point out the hypocrisy and inconsistency of hiring foreign agents to try to investigate Trump, and then kick up when the same principle is applied to Obama/Biden/Clinton. The right and responsible thing to do is to stick up for law and order, justice, proper process, and require high standards of evidence, whoever the target. That’s why it was the right thing to do to let the Mueller thing run. But now that the precedent is established they’ve got to do the same thing on Obama/Biden/Clinton and the deep state, and that’s where they fall down. It’s not that they’re refusing to resort to ‘professional fouls’, it’s that they’re not even using all the proper and legal moves available to them.

    Watching from a distance, I get the strong impression that Trump is virtually fighting the battle over there single-handed. That’s all very well for 2020, but what about the election after? Where are the successors following in his footsteps?

    And like our Establishment, the political machine on both sides of the house is deeply unhappy about people like Trump/Johnson, and if they ever get back in control the first thing they’re going to do is make sure it never happens again! People are being too complacent – this is your one and only shot at changing things. While Boris stands out virtually alone in the mainstream (i.e. not counting Nigel Farage) for charisma and character, he does have a bunch of like-minded supporters in his cabinet that I think could carry his political legacy forwards. I haven’t seen anyone corresponding to them appearing behind Trump.

    What’s going to happen when Trump retires? It’s not that far away.

  • Paul Marks

    I have no prediction on whether the British people will achieve our independence Sir.

    The enemy (the “liberal” establishment – such as Mr Blair’s “Supreme Court”) is very powerful – and utterly ruthless. They have no honour – and are prepared to commit any crime in order to prevent independence.

  • Nico

    NK: Thanks for the post about professional fouls! I love Stoppard’s plays. I shall have to find a production of that one now!

    NV:

    Watching from a distance, I get the strong impression that Trump is virtually fighting the battle over there single-handed.

    It’s most certainly been so the entire time.

    The Republican establishment hates him. There may well be 18 Republican senators itching to vote to convict in an impeachment trial — if not 18, maybe at least 11 or so.

    His first Congress did one thing he wanted because they also wanted it, and nothing more. The Senate approves his judicial appointments because the party approves of them, but they still hate him.

    The Republicans in Congress have never had much spine, but with Trump, they’ve lost what little they had.

    For example, Trump could not fire Jeff Sessions after his betrayal because the Republicans in the Senate made it clear as day that they would not confirm anyone else afterwards. As a result we had to put up with 2.5 years of the Russia Collusion show. Paul Ryan, then Republican Speaker of the House, worked to defeat Republicans and lose the House! (As I recall he had an associated PAC that funded Democrats.)

    For another example, there’s 11 Republican Senators who regularly vote to defund the wall work on the theory that Trump’s use of the various national emergencies acts was unconstitutional, or that those acts themselves are. Well, so fucking what if they are — since FDR every bloody President has used and abused those acts, and Congress passed them to begin with, so to now wake up and decide they are unconstitutional is a bit rich. Being principled when it’s convenient, and not when it’s not, is not being principled.

    Half his cabinet has been useless. For example, I believe he had Alex Acosta at Labor just to eventually embarrass him when they got Epstein, but in the meantime Acosta was no friend of the Trump agenda – indeed, he was an enemy of it.

    No, Trump defeated the Russia Collusion show by merely letting it play out. It couldn’t pan out because it was made of whole cloth. His tweeting may seem rash, but I believe he does nothing rashly, so he simply does not fall into the dems’ and deep state’s traps or trivially gets out of them. It does seem that having great confidence in your beliefs counts for a lot. The man has conviction.

    Sure, he does have some help. Besides those very close to him, there’s just a handful of people in government committed to defeat the guilty Democrats – notably, Mick Mulvaney. But it’s nothing compared to what having the backing of the party would be like. If he’d had the backing of his party then the Russia Collusion show might not even have been put up, and if attempted anyways, would have been shut down early, and many FBI and CIA official would be in jail today.

    That’s all very well for 2020, but what about the election after? Where are the successors following in his footsteps?

    2018 flushed out a bunch of Trump-hating reps, and installed a few Trump-owing Senators. If the dems’ antics backfire, then 2020 will finally bring a Trump-friendly Congress, and thereafter things will be better, but after 2022 he’ll be a lame duck unless he can find a credible successor. And that’s a problem: the reps no more have a good candidate today for 2024 than the dems have one today for 2020. At least the dems also don’t have any strong candidates for 2024, but the problem is that the Republican establishment will try to retake the party in 2024 and run a loser.

    But my expectation is that if reelected he’ll only be a bit less lonely after 2020 than he’s been so far, and that that loneliness does blunt his ability to effect his agenda. However, if he gets a big win, then his effect on political culture will be very strong, and will last at least a couple more electoral cycles after he’s gone.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Truly astonishing! And deeply disappointing — that so many people with a professed libertarian bent would knowingly disrespect the express intentions of the owner of this piece of private property.

    Mr. de Havilland organized a website specifically for discussion of Brexit-related matters (https://greatrealignment.org/) and requested Samizdatistas to take relevant discussions over there.

    Out of ignorance or disrespect, the Antipodean James Waterton put up a post about Brexit anyway. Then a number of other commentators decide that they too would disrespect Mr. de Havilland’s clear intentions. It looks like the supposed libertarian respect for private property and the rights of owners is rather more “flexible” than its protagonists would claim. As the ancient wisdom says: ‘Handsome is as handsome does’.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Niall,

    Unfortunately I’ve never heard of Mr. Stoppard nor his play. It sounds like a good thing to read, if I could hunt up a copy. Thanks. :>)

    However, the Professional Foul as you describe it certainly abounds here, as is self-evident (persons may have heard of “the Mueller investigation,” James Comey, Shrillary, and back and back and back).

    I would bet it’s baked into the cake of governments (and other outfits as well), though it may take a while to surface in any way obvious enough to attract much negative attention.

  • Nico

    Julie: I strongly recommend Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (play, productions, and the movie), and Arcadia, which are the two works of Stoppard’s I’m most familiar with. The man is brilliant.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nico,

    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern! Gad, I remember when that was a great big hit. I didn’t get an appealing vibe from the hype (which went on for years), but if you say it’s good I’ll rethink that. Maybe the Young Miss can get it on Hulu or Netflix or some such.

    Arcadia,
    I’ve never heard of.

    Thanks. :>))

  • Julie near Chicago (October 5, 2019 at 11:29 pm), Professional Foul was a written-for-TV play shown on the BBC in the late 70s. A very quick look found no links to any CD or streaming service for that production. It would be a pity if it joined the long list of stuff the BBC erased (the lead actor got an award for his performance so one would hope not). The text can be bought (in a single volume with ‘Every Good Boy deserves Favour’ IIRC) but when I read it I was aware that some of the comedy of the play is lost on the written page.

    If anyone knows where a CD or stream of that production can be found, do tell.

  • @Niall – So what’s this then? Scotch mist?

    😆

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTt09jaz-PQ

  • Thank you, John. Julie near Chicago, John Galt appears to have found something that is definitely more than scotch mist.

    Nico, as you love Stoppard’s plays, I feel sure you’ll enjoy this one.

  • Julie near Chicago

    JG and Niall,

    Thank you both ever so! 😀

  • First there was Project Fear, then there was Project Panic and now we are warned that if Brexit happens there may be – more sex in lay-bys !!

    That’s one approach to arousing the public against Brexit that I did not foresee.

    It is feared that long lorry queues on the day of Brexit may lead to boredom amongst lorry drivers (probably ignorant low-class Brexit voters, let’s face it) which may lead to their seeking out lay-bys for – well, one prefers not to go into all these sordid details.

    The article asks if Europeans even do this kind of thing. We’ve come a long way from “No sex, please; we’re British”.

    I thought of blogging this on The Great Realignment – but decided it was unworthy of the seriousness of the post rather than a comment. 🙂

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