Britain leaving the European Union.


…is you change how you’re counting time… … s-46810616

Constitutional (or rather Prerogative) crisis anyone?


It just shows how out of touch politicians are that pissing off for several weeks holiday over Christmas a couple of months before the end of the world is considered fine, whereas allowing elected MPs to vote on a motion is considered the end of the world.


The principle underpinning the above basically renders all the bluster of those heralding impending doom, food shortages, planes being grounded, trade ceasing etc etc as the nonsense that it has always been.

As evidenced above any rule or protocol may be amended or ignored at the stroke of a pen (bank bailout people?) meaning the ‘crisis’ around Brexit is and always has been, a political one.

Civil Servants, bureaucrats and business people will simply set about the practical business of ensuring that the world does not end post-Brexit…if they are permitted to do so. Practicality will be the order of the day, and post teething period, life will go on, not exactly the same but not that different either.

The problem lies solely at the political level where the two opposing camps are vying for dominance…with the prestige and perhaps future viability of their respective world views on the line. Practically every commentator, including here, is positioned on one side or the other and frames their arguments accordingly.

A real talent would be the ability to discern who amongst them/us actually believes their own spin.


Not that simple. There are many factions in this game, and they cross party lines.

It’s not just about in/out. It’s about what “out” should look like.

May has presented the negotiations as “getting the best deal possible”, but there is no consensus on what that should look like. She wants the status quo minus free movement. Most Tories are pro-free movement because they’re pro-business and business doesn’t want labour shortages pushing up wages.

Corbyn is at war with his own parliamentary party and membership and voters. He thinks we can restore wage bargaining power by restricting immigration, and shore up British industries with trade barriers and State support (at least I think that’s what he wants, but maybe he just wants to nationalize everything because he’s a lunatic socialist). A decent chunk of Labour supporters see restrictions on free movement as being driven by racism, and are therefore ideologically opposed, the “I am a citizen of the world” types. Another chunk vote Labour because they’re poor, and support Corbyn’s effort to restore wage bargaining power through labour market controls.

And the DUP don’t give a shit about any of that. They are the real identity politicians.

So I really don’t see how you can view this as a “both sides” thing.


Thats a fair response.

But in my view it is rooted in what is increasingly coming to feel like an outdated post-war dichotomy.

I see Brexit, Trump and now the Yellow Vests as manifestations of the same broad groundswell of anti-establishment mood that is making itself heard across the western world…with the establishment consisting of those who are part of the ‘game’ (what McWilliams might label ‘insiders’) regardless of their political/ideological persuasion. The fact that you acknowledge that the divisions cut across the traditional divide of left-right/conservative-liberal-socialist faultlines seems to actually underscore such an interpetation.

While undoubtedly there are some racist/genuinely far-right elements that are seeking to travel within these so-called ‘populist’ movements, its clearly the case that they encompass a lot more than such simplistic labelling. For example, it could be argued that issues centered around genuinely representative democracy and the concept of national sovereignty (perhaps even the future existence of nation states themselves) as well as attituides to erosion of the gains made by the European working classes in the wake of their sacrifices across two world wars, are more indicative of the true ideological faultlines that underpin the debate arond these matters…despite the manner in which they are often presented by the mainstream media.

None of this removes the fact however, that absent the vaccuum, the ‘insurmountable’ hurdles can be dealt with without anything approaching societal meltdown as soon as the political will to do so makes itself apparent.


Governments execute policies. “Anti-establishment” is not a policy.

That’s partly why Brexit is such a mess. Government is trying to implement a scream of rage.


Not exactly.

The speaker of the house in the UK has enormous discretionary power about the order of business in the house. Bercow didn’t do anything illegal, nor did he do anything that has never been done before, nor did he break any rules that were written down. He just did something that hasn’t been done in a while. Something that is fully within his authority to do. The rule that he broke is an unwritten one that says we generally don’t do things that way, not that we can’t, just that we generally don’t do it that way.

Any bank guarantees that may or may not have been done were done within the full authority of government officials. There were no changes to the law and nothing illegal was done. The Irish government can guarantee any debts of anyone individual any time it wants. It has that full authority.

No one has the authority to make insurance contracts cross countries still be valid after Brexit. More importantly, no government has the authority to compel companies to ignore the law around safety standards and all other regulations concerning import/export of goods and services.

In order for things to continue smoothly someone has to actively decide to do something illegal.


I see Greg Clarke, UK Business Minister is latest to emphatically rule out Brexit with no deal, calling for cross party backbenchers to make sure it does not happen. The momentum against no deal does seem to be surging in the Commons.

Assuming May’s deal is defeated the only choices available to UK are a) No Deal, b) ask the EU for an extension of Article 50 or c) unilaterally revoke Article 50.

At this stage I think it will be very tempting for the EU to refuse an extension of Article 50, gambling that a Commons majority will revoke Article 50.

I think this is exactly what the EU should do.


That will lead to troubles on UK streets, but it’s not our fault successive UK governments have made us the whipping boy for all their faults.


Extending or not extending, both will cause trouble.
But I doubt that either will bring people out on to the streets.


O would be inclined to think that the smoothest path Gould be to continue on using existing processes until they are superseded by new processes.
Thus ensure minimal disruption.
Politics may put a few spanners in this approach, EU needs Brexit to fail.


Arguably Brexit has already failed and it had nothing to do with the EU.

Despite the rhetoric no one seriously expects that the UK is going to have an economic “Brexit Dividend”. That’s not the EU’s fault, it was the PM that decided the UK’s red lines to exit from the single market etc. and that has inevitable economic costs.

As for setting up the UK as an independent free trading nation, the the UK government has balked at the prospect of going it alone and looks like it it intends to cleave to the EU and its regulatory level.

While in terms of reducing immigration, there are signs of immigration substitution from the EU to ROW but still at the same numbers. Though that’s still in flux so who knows.

Taken as a whole, we’re firmly in BINO territory where the UK has swapped a formal relationship with the EU member states, mediated through the treaties, for an informal relationship with very similar results, except the UK will not be at the decision table.

As for the EU’s approach to Brexit you may or may not like their 3 priorities of the UK’s financial commitments, EU citizen rights, and the border, and the tacit position that single market membership means total acceptance of single market rules and ECJ oversight, but the EU has conducted itself transparently throughout the negotiations. There were no unexpected demands from the EU and if the UK was caught on the hop with the backstop it’s hard to see how that can be laid at the EU’s door.

In the Withdrawal Agreement the EU made a huge concession in allowing the UK to have the extendable EU membership-lite to 2021 and another in the total UK customs union so long as it is necessary. Further in the talks Barnier’s team made clear to the UK that even out of the single market, the intention was to treat the UK’s products extremely favorably with exceptionally low levels of regulatory checks.

The UK can point to hardball over totemic issues like France pushing fishing rights or Spain on Gibraltar but the EU could have been significantly more awkward in negotiations.

The EU was never going to cheer lead Brexit however if you had said to Brexit campaigners in 2015 that the EU’s 3 demands were finances, citizens and the border and that the EU would publish those demands openly, I suspect they would have anticipated the UK would be in a really strong position.

That they’re not says more about Westminster than Brussels.


Id agree. Delay looks the main option. Saying no to a delay would be one of the potential triggers for a No Deal


Another cracker from Tony Connelly: … -connelly/

At this stage, we’re at:


My experience of working with Marketing people on big projects is that once it looks like a brief can be delivered upon, you can be sure it will change. You will always end up with some element of the the brief that cannot be delivered, be it a technical impossibility or just a schedule issue. The cynic in me has always though that this is intentional on the part of the Marketing people, if they got exactly what they wanted and the product was a flop, it’s all on them, however when they can point to something from the brief that could not be delivered, they can point to that and say… if only we could have had that? Methinks there’s a lot of this going on with BREXIT too, a large cohort of BREXITers who won’t state categorically what they do want are making sure to point to things and say that’s not what we wanted.


More on the precendence crisis:


Sunny Beach for the win! … an-resorts

Guess Brent had it right after all :neutral_face:

The return of the paperwork of the pre-EU days also gets a mention:

As I’ve said elsewhere, travel between european countries pre-EU involved lots of awkwardness; driving and pets in particular, but one thing not mentioned here - currency. With the UK banks falling out of the single market for banking, will they all have an EPOS/ATM presence? If not, will we see travellers cheques come back? Queues for currency? Without membership of euro settlement, will currency need to be balanced? (Euros to British travellers need to be matched by sterling purchases by eurozone? Could we see a currency crisis?).


Travelling within the GBP zone is already a hassle when Northern Ireland and Scottish notes in England get knocked back!

Anyway things mightn’t be so bad, down at my local north England Tesco last night I saw a bottle of prosecco in the food donation bin.


I don’t see why not. I had no difficulty using British and Irish cards in ATMs in the USA.
Daily limits might have been lower, but otherwise they worked fine.


Is this the real backstop?