Author Topic: Various bits re Brexit and Economics  (Read 9626 times)

johnnycool

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2019, 12:06:53 PM »
I literally laughed out loud reading Dodds being hit with a brick.  ;D

Which IIRC was thrown by a Unionist rioter.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4yyWZ3b5R6Q

It was the parades commission’s fault😂

Nice of the peelers to give him a squirt of the water cannon when he hit the deck. Must have been a fenian copper.


seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2019, 12:08:14 PM »
   https://www.ft.com/content/def3dae4-44d9-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

   Theresa May’s Brexit deal is dead — MPs must now take over
      
               Parliament must avoid political chaos and create space to explore other exit options
      
         The editorial board
         In other circumstances, a second humiliating loss on the government’s flagship policy would end in a prime ministerial resignation © Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament
After two years of tortuous negotiations, Theresa May’s strategy for taking the UK out of the EU lies in ruins. From the moment the stentorian attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox, pronounced that late legal changes won by the prime minister did not remove the risk of the UK being “trapped” in the so-called Irish backstop hated by Eurosceptics, her withdrawal agreement was headed for another crushing Commons defeat. The priority now must be to avoid chaos — chaos in parliament that could be exploited by extremists of left and right, and the chaos of a no-deal exit.
MPs must stabilise the political situation and create the space for a Brexit rethink.In other circumstances, a second humiliating loss on the government’s flagship policy would end in a prime ministerial resignation. Mrs May must bear most of the blame for the failure to secure a parliamentary majority. Her negotiating strategy was muddled and contradictory, and she continually put narrow party interests ahead of those of the nation. This premier, who prides herself on being no “quitter”, seems determined to try to soldier on. If she succeeds, against all odds, she must pursue a new strategy. This means ending the fantasy of bringing her deal to parliament a third time. EU officials have made clear there will be no further concessions on the backstop aimed at avoiding a hard border in Ireland. Mrs May should instead allow parliament to take control. She must work to promote and facilitate exactly the kind of cross-party co-operation in the national interest that she has so far stubbornly resisted.As a first step, MPs must vote on Wednesday to remove the risk of a catastrophic no-deal departure from the EU on March 29. Such an exit would do huge damage to UK jobs, prosperity and security. Bringing supply lines to a standstill, it could lead to shortages of foodstuffs and even medicines. It would destroy international trust in Britain when it most needs to forge new relationships.There should be no prevarication here. Letting Britain crash out of the EU — as the Brexit ultras advocate — is not fulfilling the result of the 2016 referendum. This is not what most Leave voters thought they were backing. Failure to remove this risk would be a dereliction of parliamentarians’ duty to exercise their judgment in the best interests of the citizens they represent.



MPs’ second priority is to vote on Thursday to seek from the EU an extension of the Article 50 withdrawal process. This needs to be longer than three months. It should allow time for a new approach to Brexit that tests MPs’ appetite for other forms of withdrawal. Indicative votes should be held on “softer” options including a permanent customs union with the EU — which this newspaper has supported — or a “Norway-plus” option of remaining in the single market and a customs union.If no option can garner the support of a majority of MPs, the Financial Times has advocated returning the issue to the British people in another referendum. Voters could be presented with a choice between Mrs May’s deal — the only negotiated Brexit option that currently exists — or remaining in the EU. MPs might favour a general election. But with Britain’s two biggest political parties both riven over Brexit, an election would resolve little. A new referendum would be divisive, but it would offer voters this time a real choice, instead of the illusory Brexit they were sold in 2016. A majority does not yet appear to exist in parliament for this route, either. Yet if MPs cannot unite around an alternative Brexit, they might start to see a new plebiscite as the only way out of the impasse.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2019, 03:14:34 PM »
https://www.ft.com/content/4b3b5a24-4570-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb

   Ardent US capitalists should embrace ‘socialism’
They can contain anger at the market system by making pragmatic concessions to it

Janan Ganesh

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president, is unpopular on Wall Street because of her taste for wealth taxes © Bloomberg

In a country where “liberalism” means big government and “neoconservatism” implies utopian derring-do, the mangling of another abstract noun was probably due. What US politics has done to “socialism” over recent months is no less regrettable for that. Whether in the mouths of Democrats, who are warming to the word, or of Republicans, who still spit it out, it has come to mean something more familiar to a European as social (or Christian) democracy. Fiscal transfers, universal healthcare, powerful trade unions: not only do these things not add up to socialism — Denmark is no command economy — a true stickler for that creed would actively oppose them as efforts to buy off the revolution. They are not designed to replace the market so much as to stop the masses turning against it. All of which provokes a counter-intuitive thought. Hardened capitalists should vote for a Democratic president in 2020 — even a fairly leftwing one — rather than a Republican. The market system is under greater popular stress, after all, than at any time since the 1930s. One answer to the resentment is to give no quarter at all. A wiser one is to contain the anger by making pragmatic concessions to it. Donald Trump won the presidency by taking the second approach but has governed, mystifyingly, with the first. Having begun his White House campaign with a pledge to save not just Medicare (which serves the old) but Medicaid (which serves the poor), he has cut taxes and is now seeking welfare efficiencies to make up the budgetary shortfall. After all his vaunted “disruption” of GOP orthodoxy, he seems set to run on a platform of colour-by-numbers Republicanism, at least in domestic affairs.If this is the right’s plan to save the free-market system, then capitalists should take their chances with the left. There is a plausible future in which a more generous welfare state, funded by taxes on those who have been enriched by a decade’s asset inflation, drains some of the anti-capitalist pus from the body politic. There is no plausible future in which another round of unreconstructed supply-side economics does the same. One more presidential term of this stuff would be a tactical gain for free-marketeers, true, but what of the strategic risk? For the short-term pleasure of lower marginal tax rates and thinned-out regulations, they risk the further disillusionment of an electorate that already worries about the fairness of the system. Millennial attitudes to capitalism should keep them up at night. The transient nuisance of a “progressive” administration should not.

The priority of capitalists is not the election of Republicans. It is the maintenance of public support for capitalism. If this is best achieved through some redistribution and regulation, it would not be the first time.As ever in politics, the trick is to distinguish between lesser and greater evils. Not everyone can. Consider the sulphurous unpopularity on Wall Street of Elizabeth Warren. Even potential Democratic donors wonder what they will do if the Massachusetts senator becomes the party’s candidate in 2020. Her crime? A taste for wealth taxes and financial regulation. It is natural for bankers to worry about these policies. But they should also worry about the anger that will be stored up if somevariation of her reform does not happen. Ms Warren is “a capitalist to my bones”. She wants more, not less competition in the economy. If capitalists think that four or eight years of her leftish technocracy is the worst that can happen, they are not using their imaginations. Better her than a more severe reckoning with public opinion down the line. Better a controlled explosion than a random, all-engulfing one. Right now, the political debate concerns the excesses of capitalism. In no time at all, it will move on to the fundaments of the system itself. The preservation of capitalism through its moderation: there is no paradox here. Dwight Eisenhower understood it as basic statecraft, as did Richard Nixon and other Republicans who reconciled themselves to big government. Mr Trump reached a similar intuition in 2016. At least as far back as John Maynard Keynes, the truest friends of capitalism have understood that it cannot command an electoral majority in its purest form. Franklin Roosevelt turned out to be a better custodian of the system than those who cried philosophical betrayal at first whiff of the New Deal. He knew that an idea can die of purity. Too few now do. There is more to the defence of free markets than the resistance of all reform as a red menace. If Republicans have become dangerous to the cause, it is because they believe in it too much
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2019, 10:48:28 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/319fe848-458c-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

   Greece maps the long way back to a Brexit deal
Kamikaze Leavers who have wrecked Theresa May’s deal cannot win support for their own

Philip Stephens

Some time ago, I wrote that Britain was heading the way of Greece. The comparison caused (justifiable) offence in Athens and (unwarranted) indignation in London. The time has come formally to recant. Grexit is now a fading nightmare. Common sense and political leadership have seen Greece stabilise its economy and restore functioning government. In the meantime, Brexit has all but broken British politics.The heavy economic costs of Brexit were always obvious to all but the fantasists who imagine that “global Britain”, untethered from its own continent, will usher in a new Elizabethan age. The political stresses and strains — the absence of any consensus about what Brexit actually meant, the collision between the referendum outcome and the pro-European views of the majority of MPs, and deep divisions within parties — were casually overlooked. No one should be surprised that the nation’s politics now resemble a car crash. At once unimaginative and stubborn, Theresa May has squandered the respect of her cabinet and lost all authority within the governing Conservative party. The prime minister’s half-baked Brexit deal with the EU27 has suffered a second crushing defeat in the House of Commons. An unbridgeable chasm has opened up between the Conservatives’ English nationalists and a shrinking band who still pledge allegiance to “One Nation” Toryism. For her part, Mrs May clings against all logic to the idea that somehow she can get her agreement through.On the other side of the aisle, the largely pro-European Labour opposition is led by a Eurosceptic trapped in the time warp of 1970s socialism.

 Jeremy Corbyn commands the confidence of only a couple of dozen of his own MPs. Many consider him unfit to be prime minister. Brexit, Mr Corbyn tells centre-left leaders elsewhere in Europe, “is not my priority”. He sees himself as the carrier of a brighter flame. His mission, he boasts, is “building socialism”.The referendum outcome shocked and dismayed Britain’s many friends. The paralysis since in a nation once renowned for level-headed pragmatism has been all but incomprehensible. And, yes, it is truly shocking to realise that two weeks before its scheduled departure, Britain does not have even an outline as to how it can replace decades of economic integration and political collaboration with its nearest neighbours. For their part, European leaders have shown the patience of saints as Mrs May has run scared of her party’s nationalists. The likes of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, soaked in delusions about past glory and continental conspiracies, have wrecked all attempts to reach an intelligent accommodation. Britain won the war, they want us to know. It can set its own terms.So no blame attaches to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier or to French President Emmanuel Macron when they suggest that if Britain now wants an extension to the Article 50 process, it must first come up with a credible strategy to use the additional time. I have heard many others across the continent — most of them good friends of Britain — say much the same thing. What is the point of open-ended negotiations if they do nothing but postpone the cliff edge for a few months or so? And, by the way, the EU27 have other things on their minds beyond Britain’s determination to self-harm.As understandable as they are, such sentiments misread the political dynamics. Britain needs extra time — and a lot more than the three months often mentioned in Brussels — precisely because it does not have a strategy. The past two years have been entirely wasted. An orderly separation requires that the politicians start again. That will require time as well as imagination. Nor should fellow Europeans discount the possibility that such a process could end in a second referendum.A few things should be obvious by now. The Kamikaze Brexiters who have tortured Mrs May can wreck her plans but cannot win support for their own. For her part — and I fear even after two resounding defeats she still has not understood this — the prime minister cannot continue to treat Brexit as the sole property of the Tory party. The only deal with Brussels that will command sufficient support in the House of Commons is one that reaches across the partisan barricades.Impossible, some will say. The two-party system is immutable. I am not so sure. Brexit has pushed politics in the other direction. Just this week Mrs May was forced to offer a free vote to underscore the stupidity of the crash-out Brexit sought by her party’s hardliners. There could well be more such occasions in coming days as MPs test opinion on other, softer versions of Brexit. Nearly a dozen MPs have broken with the two main parties to re-establish a centrist voice in the nation’s politics. Talk of a second referendum is no longer the preserve of diehard Remainers. If Mrs May can demand a second vote on her deal, why should the people be denied a chance to think again?There is a long way to go. The process could throw up a general election as well as a promise of another referendum. It will be messy and could end in another failure. But it is surely worth the time. A series of rolling extensions of Article 50, guaranteed until the end of 2020, could be the game-changer. Britain does not deserve a bailout, the EU27 could reasonably say. Well, perhaps not. But some said the same about Greece.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2019, 11:31:43 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/1fb17b7c-4570-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

   Theresa May forces the fantasists to face harsh realities
The reason so many hate the prime minister’s deal is that it shows the perfect Brexit does not exist

Robert Shrimsley

The small solace from Tuesday’s vote was that Theresa May regained the backing of several noted diehards including David Davis, pictured right with Boris Johnson. Mr Davis resigned as Brexit secretary to oppose Mrs May's deal © Getty
You have to wonder if there are people in the British parliament who believe that if the House of Commons voted to rule out death, the Grim Reaper would be forced to recognise the strength of its conviction.It is possible to imagine the TV interview after the vote: “I think when Death sees the unity within the Conservative party around eternal life, he will be forced to come back to the table,” the chairman of the Mortality Research Group would tell the BBC. “This is a clear message to Death from the UK that it is time to put aside his scythe.”On Wednesday, having twice vetoed the only deal on the table, MPs voted to reject a no-deal Brexit as if the mere fact of doing so magicked away that outcome. On Thursday they will almost certainly vote to delay the Brexit date, even though that is entirely up to the rest of the EU and not a given.Finally — and most comically — some MPs attempted to resurrect the so-called Malthouse Compromise, a series of fantasy proposals around which Conservatives tried to unite even though it had been rejected by the EU. Its champions insisted a vote for these plans would “have to be taken seriously by Brussels”.All these high points from a chamber which often mistakenly styles itself “the mother of parliaments” underscore the UK’s detachment from external events, forces and opinions. Away from talks overseen by Theresa May, Tory ideas and demands have been designed almost entirely in a vacuum, with no effort to understand the other, stronger side of the negotiations.
            
               After Theresa May's Brexit defeat what happens next?
            
         What all this week’s votes will not have done is unite parliament around a workable alternative. It cannot be said often enough that simply stating opposition to no deal does not prevent it. An alternative may yet follow. For all the prime minister’s unease, the notion of holding indicative votes to see if MPs can find a majority for an alternative workable plan may now be unavoidable. Support for the so-called Norway option of remaining in the single market, permanent membership of a customs union or even holding a second referendum may soon be tested. It is possible that events may run away from Mrs May. The House may unite around an alternative, and a second referendum on her plan is certainly an option. Yet some fundamental facts are unchanged. Aside from the customs union it is not clear there is a majority for any other option. Even after two of the most thumping defeats in Commons history, Mrs May plans to return for a third effort next week. For there is a second consideration, namely that it is very hard to see how the government can hold together while carrying through legislation on any of the softer options. As one MP noted: “This government cannot legislate for Norway. We would be dependent entirely on [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn. It would pull us apart.” Mrs May is already stretching the elastic of her party to its limits. Asked to predict what would happen on Wednesday before the no deal vote, one ex-minister replied: “The PM and cabinet are going to vote with the opposition against the Conservative party.”The solidarity of the party is a minor concern in the wider scheme of things, but it is not a secondary issue to Mrs May or her party. As long as they cling to power, therefore, it cannot be irrelevant to the country.

   This is why even the second defeat for her plan is still not the end of it. The deal cannot be buried until something else replaces it and her control of parliamentary time allows her to keep trying. The small solace from Tuesday’s vote was that she regained the backing of several noted diehards including David Davis, who resigned as Brexit secretary to oppose her deal. She calculates that the more parliament leans towards a long delay or a softer Brexit, the faster the other hardliners will get back on board.Incredibly, Mrs May, the least politically agile premier in modern time, is still in office. She survives by granting free votes and surrendering all authority over her party and cabinet. She is still a long way from victory but hers remains the only currently viable plan, and one behind which Tories can ultimately just about unite. For all her numerous shortcomings, in Tory eyes Mrs May’s true crime may be that she forced her party to look outside the vacuum and to engage with the real world. The reason so many of them hate her deal is because it shows that their perfect Brexit does not exist. That is like asking a child to accept that Santa Claus is actually your parents. Tories will not forgive her for shattering their illusions, but they may yet be forced to bend to her will.

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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #50 on: March 14, 2019, 03:45:02 PM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/14/brexit-betrayal-turning-mild-mannered-people-unexpected-revolutionaries/

This Brexit betrayal is turning mild-mannered people into unexpected revolutionaries
•   
Rebecca Ryan
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14 March 2019 • 3:20pm


 The electorate won't forget Parliament's betrayal of the popular will anytime soon
Last year, I co-founded a grassroots campaign group called Stand Up for Brexit. As its name suggests, our group aims to hold Conservative MPs accountable for their manifesto commitments by encouraging them to support the clean break from the EU for which 17.4 million people voted in 2016.
We have always tried to spread a positive and optimistic message, asking people to engage in the democratic process through traditional means, like writing to their MPs. So it was with a growing sense of anguish that I watched the extraordinary developments in the House of Commons last night. Yesterday, our MPs voted against an act of Parliament they themselves passed, which enshrined our departure from the European Union on March 29, regardless of whether any withdrawal terms had been agreed. In doing so, they aim to retroactively destroy a public decision - one that they themselves invited the people to make when they approved the referendum by a huge margin in 2015. Democracy is the key reason why the British people voted for Brexit; last night saw it torn down.
Millions view the chaos in Parliament with similar despair. Our democracy has always survived on fragile convention and popular consent. Yet our parliamentarians are systematically tearing up the social contract and centuries-old traditions for short term political gain. We see elected representatives ignoring the will of their constituents. The Speaker, John Bercow, brazenly favours amendments tabled by Remain MPs, yet shoots down popular amendments from Eurosceptics. Ministers like Greg Clark have rebelled against the whip, but so impotent is our PM that they can expect to remain snugly in their Cabinet posts for as long as they like.
This takes us into dangerous territory. Since last night, I have received countless messages from grassroots Conservative members expressing their costernation at this hijacking of democracy. Many feel that the usual levers ordinary people can pull to maintain their agency have broken.
Some will look towards new parties and movements for salvation. Who can blame them? In their disdain for the popular will and parliamentary convention, our politicians have sent a clear message that the existing rules of democratic engagement are now meaningless. If our elected representatives can trample on them, willy-nilly, then what does democracy even mean? Why bother voting for anything again?
This betrayal is turning mild-mannered people into unexpected revolutionaries. Though Brexiteers might be willing to tolerate some kind of short, technical extension, any unstructured, lengthy delay of this process will spark outrage. Many have asked me: “When are we marching on Parliament?” Although this probably wouldn’t resemble a gilets jaunes style violent uprising - we’re British, after all - I wouldn’t be surprised if people calmly took to the streets to express their outrage.
There is also severe disappointment at the lack of compromise shown by non-Brexiteers, exemplified by MPs voting down, by a large margin, the alternative proposed by Kit Malthouse which garnered support from all sides of the Conservative Party. As ever in this debate, Brexiteers are the only people who have been made to compromise, while the only thing that has been compromised is Brexit itself.
Of course, the seeds of this betrayal were planted long ago, when the Prime Minister and her team sidelined Eurosceptic Brexit Ministers, undermining their efforts for a ‘Canada Plus’ deal. Despite the Conservative Party overwhelmingly supporting Brexit, Remain MPs did their best to prevent members choosing a PM who would honour their 2017 manifesto and 2016 referendum. But we should not forget that 70% of Conservative members want Brexit, while two thirds of Tory constituencies voted to leave the EU. They will remember this betrayal at the next General Election.
At the same time, Remainers have been winning an important and overlooked PR battle. As Lionel Shriver noted on Newsnight last night, they have succeeded in reframing Leave as a position that is not only purely right wing, but also ‘extreme’. They have attempted to speak for Brexiteers, writing off their legitimate grievances as nativism or racism. ERG Members have been described as “extremists”, or Brexit “jihadis”, in the words of Claire Perry MP - just for wanting to fulfil their party’s manifesto with a clean break with the EU. This is an age-old trick, designed to smear the idea of Brexit through association, to discredit the vote before reversing it altogether.
The Government is now using the threat of ‘no Brexit’ to blackmail the people into accepting their deeply flawed deal. “If you don’t vote for this deal, which would tear up the United Kingdom and impose a state of vassalage on our country”, they are effectively saying, “then all will be taken away from you.” But this too is a breach of trust, designed to remove the Government’s responsibility for our lamentable situation and plant it on those who merely wish to fulfil their manifesto commitments. Elsewhere, clever men like Dominic Grieve use maxims like “Parliament is taking back control”, believing they can convince us that black is white, that ignoring the popular will is democracy, that the number 48 is somehow higher than 52. But just how stupid do they think we are?
Many view our decision to vote to leave the EU as a mistake, which has exposed malign forces in politics. I disagree. Brexit has enthused and engaged millions, giving them a real interest in the democratic process, some for the first time in their lives. The British people, if not its politicians, genuinely value having a sense of agency over the laws that govern us. But if our lawmakers succeed in reversing Brexit, democracy may never recover.
 
Rebecca Ryan is a co-founder of the group Stand Up For Brexit
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #51 on: March 15, 2019, 09:58:32 AM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/14/no-deal-table-mrs-may-could-pull-unlikely-triumph/

With no-deal off the table, Mrs May could pull off an unlikely triumph
•   
Fraser Nelson
14 March 2019 • 10:00pm
 Trust may have gone - but will Mrs May ultimately get her deal through? CREDIT: BOB MORAN
Who’s afraid of voters anyway? It was Jess Phillips, the refreshingly frank Labour MP, who said it first, in Wednesday’s debate. For the past two years, she said, MPs have been warned about not betraying the wishes of the 17.4 million people who wanted Brexit – but why are politicians all so terrified of them? Isn’t it time for them to lead? Anna Soubry, who recently deserted the Tories, declared that she, too, is unafraid of voters. Other MPs followed with similar points: saying (as one Lib Dem put it) that it is “finally time to bust the myth of ‘the will of the people’ ”. Time, in other words, for MPs to take back control.
The resulting chaos has only just started. The various amendments voted on last night were just the latest sign of a Government that has lost control.
We have seen four Cabinet members openly defy the Prime Minister in the voting lobbies, yet keep their jobs. We have seen the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, float his own rival Brexit plan in the middle of his Spring Statement. This is political anarchy. And the only way to end it might be to vote through Theresa May’s deal.
Given that it has been defeated twice, by fairly epic margins, it ought to be dead. But these are not normal times. Last night, an attempt to stop her calling a third-time-lucky vote was abandoned, once it became clear that MPs would quite like that option. It had been voted down when Brexiteers still held out for a better deal – but this was only ever possible with the plausible threat of the UK leaving with no deal. This option has now gone, removed by a rebel vote on Wednesday. “That’s when our goose was cooked,” one ERG member told me. “Now, it has all changed.”
Power now unquestionably rests with those who wish Brexit to be diluted, delayed or abandoned entirely. Brexiteers have accepted that they are outnumbered. The debate now is whether they wish to go down fighting, true to the cause, or salvage what they can by resurrecting the deal.
Let’s take Philip Davies, who was campaigning to leave the European Union at a time when it was seen as a lunatic’s obsession. When he launched Better Off Out in 2006, the attendees could have fitted into a taxi. He needs no lectures on the ideal purity of Brexit – but he now supports Mrs May’s deal.
As does George Eustice, a former Ukip member. Even the DUP might come around to it over the weekend. If it fails for a third time, perhaps on Tuesday, Mrs May might bring it back for a fourth time – after an EU summit that may lay down unappetising terms for extending the Brexit deadline.
The risk, to Brexiteers, is clear. A Parliament that has ruled out no deal under any circumstances is a Parliament that will do whatever the EU asks. It might agree to stay in the customs union, as Mr Hammond is now angling for. Or move to a Norway-style deal, forcing the UK to give up any hope of border control. Once Britain asks – or, rather, begs – for an extension, it’s hard to think of a condition that the opponents of Brexit, now running Parliament, would not agree to.
The political consequences of this are also obvious. If
Brexit is delayed much longer, or cancelled, it’s easy to see an uglier version of Ukip starting up – and marching along with the populist parties which have been menacing almost every other country in Europe. The democratic backlash would be hideous, and directed against the Conservatives and their broken Brexit promises. The party would never recover from this, and would not deserve to.
A no-deal Brexit could have worked. A radical stimulus, low tariffs, low taxes, immediate assurance granted to all EU nationals, accepting more high-skilled migrants: all kinds of options could have been open. But this would require not just a Tory majority but a decent leader, able to unite and inspire the country. The odds on one emerging any time soon are, to put it mildly, slim.
I received a message last night from a Tory making the principled case for holding firm: “How can I support a deal that isn’t Brexit? The consequences that follow will be out of my hands.”
This is quite logical. But so is the logic of the other Brexiteers: that the choice, realistically, is between May’s backstop – or a far-worse Brexit and political meltdown that might put Jeremy Corbyn in No 10 by Christmas.
“I was in the Army, I wasn’t trained to lose,” said the ERG’s Mark Francois this week. This is not quite true. Officers are trained to recognise when tactical retreat is better than outright defeat. And some of the hardest Eurosceptics in the Tory party, who have been fighting this battle for years, are making that retreat.
May’s deal, for all its awfulness, does not make Brexit a lost cause. The Tories might come to see it as an unwon cause. With the right leader (again, a rather bold assumption with the Tories in their current state) it ought to be possible to agree good relations and a decent free trade deal with a new European Commission.
What leverage would we have? That the dreaded backstop is not, entirely, a bad thing for Britain. It means low-friction access to the EU’s markets without having to accept free movement. We could not be forced to pay a penny more to the European Union: cash and migration are perhaps the two biggest priorities for Brexit voters. And there would be no chance of a second referendum to keep us in. Legally, we’d be out.
The flaws in the Prime Minister’s deal would, in any ordinary time, have sunk it. It gives no clue as to what a final Brexit deal would look like. New trade deals would be hard, almost impossible, to strike. Perhaps worst of all, there would probably be almost no (legal) way out of the backstop, without the EU’s agreement.
It’s a pale imitation of the Brexit that could have been, the Brexit a different leader might have been able to negotiate. It’s half a Brexit – but it’s better than no Brexit.
The Tories may well be persuaded that this is the only remaining choice.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #52 on: March 21, 2019, 12:32:25 PM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/21/new-brexit-extension-mps-must-finally-do-jobs-make-decision/

With a new Brexit extension, MPs must finally do their jobs and make a decision
•   
Nick Timothy
21 March 2019 • 7:00am
The choice is clear: May's deal or a softer Brexit
The Brexit showdown is often called a Mexican standoff. But it’s now apparent that MPs are not pointing guns at one another 
but peashooters, water pistols and bendy bananas. Attempts to force a no-deal Brexit have failed. The plot to impose a long delay has, for now, been thwarted. And without a longer delay, a second referendum is unlikely.
Donald Tusk, however, has shown that he has a gun and a barrel-full of bullets. His statement yesterday made clear Brussels will only accept Theresa May’s request to extend Article 50 until June if the Commons approves the Withdrawal Agreement.
He was addressing several audiences. Remainers in Parliament heard that Britain might leave the EU without a deal at the end of next week. After all, Tusk has made 
the acceptance of the only official request to delay Brexit conditional 
on the approval of a deal many Remainer MPs have previously opposed.
But note that he did not rule out a longer delay. He was replying only to what Theresa May asked the European Council in her letter yesterday. So Leavers cannot be sure that voting down the Withdrawal Agreement will lead to the no-deal Brexit many of them favour.
Voting against the deal might still lead to a lengthy delay, and with such a delay, the possibility not only of British participation in the European Parliament elections, but the danger of a second referendum and, with that, the risk we might not leave the European Union after all.
For these reasons, the Tusk intervention was a deliberate attempt to boost the Prime Minister’s chances of passing the deal. And it is time, now, for MPs to recognise the nature of the choice they face.
Leavers are right that the PM’s deal is awful, because it leads us into a trap we can escape only by subordinating our laws to those of the EU or sacrificing Northern Ireland to the Republic.
But they need to accept that there is no longer a better option on the table. Sometimes it is better to live to fight another day than fight hopelessly to the death.
Likewise, Remainers should know that their only chance of stopping Brexit is through a second referendum, and the only, narrow, chance of a referendum is if there is a longer delay.
There is no existing Commons majority for a second public vote, and the Europeans have not said they will agree a lengthy delay. So if Remainer MPs won’t back the PM’s deal, their best alternative is to vote for a customs union, or the Norway model, or both: options we know the EU would add to the Withdrawal Agreement in the political declaration.
MPs have plotted for months to try to find ways to wrest control of Brexit from the Government. But while the Commons cannot conduct international negotiations, and it cannot unilaterally decide what the EU will not agree, it has been in a position to determine the direction of Brexit all along.
Ever since Gina Miller defeated the Government in the Supreme Court, insisting that Parliament must legislate to invoke Article 50, and through the sorry saga of Grieve amendments, meaningful votes, and Cooper, Boles and Benn amendments, MPs could have taken control with each Brexit vote.
They could have voted for the PM’s deal, but they rejected it, twice. They could have voted for no deal, but they rejected that, twice. They could have voted for a second referendum, but they refused. They could have voted for a softer Brexit, meaning a customs union, a Norway-style relationship, or a combination of the two. But they refused to do that too.
All they have decided is to extend Article 50 if necessary.
The Prime Minister is often accused of kicking the can down the road, but she is not alone: that is all MPs can agree to do.
Even when MPs have had the chance to take control of the Commons timetable, which would allow them to find a way of expressing their preferred outcome, they have fluffed it. Whatever we think of the actions of the Speaker – as partisan as he is pompous, as venal as he is vain – his procedural chicanery is not really the issue.
The difficulty is that MPs, whose job is to decide on important matters, cannot make up their minds.
We have a Brexit Secretary who told the Commons to vote to delay Brexit, in the national interest, but then voted against doing so. MPs who back a second referendum refusing to vote for one, because they prefer other options to be ruled out first. And Brexiteers jeopardising Brexit itself because the PM’s deal is not what they wanted.
To be fair, this is a collective crisis, but the choices facing MPs have narrowed. So far, for reasons of obstinacy, vanity and whipping, and in many cases a fear of taking a position, MPs have refused to decide. But they are paid to make up their minds, and their choice is now clearer.
Whether they like it or not, they must decide between the PM’s deal and a softer Brexit.

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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2019, 01:49:01 PM »
WTF

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/19/no-deal-better-brexit-delay-say-public-poll-finds-just-one-10/

No deal is better than Brexit delay, say voters – exclusive Telegraph poll


 Despite the Brexit shambles, Mrs May remains the most favourable politician with over one quarter of voters
•   Camilla Tominey, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
19 March 2019 • 6:00am
Follow
Nearly half of the British public is confident that the UK will ultimately thrive if it leaves the EU without a deal, according to a new poll.
The exclusive ComRes survey for The Daily Telegraph found that 46 per cent of adults think leaving without a deal would “briefly cause some uncertainty but ultimately work out OK”, compared with 40 per cent who support extending Article 50.
Three in 10 adults (30 per cent) think leaving the EU without a deal on March 29 will be the best possible outcome, according to the poll, compared with more than two in five who disagree (43 per cent). ComRes also asked on behalf of Leave Means Leave if taking no deal off the table has weakened our negotiating hand. Half (50 per cent) say yes, and 24 per cent no.
Asked if Mrs May’s deal delivers Brexit, just 14 per cent say yes and 54 per cent no. Just 18 per cent believe it honours the referendum result, compared with 33 per cent who think it does not. Thirty seven per cent say in 2016 they expected to leave with no deal, while 20 per cent expected to leave with a withdrawal agreement.
The Telegraph poll found the country split over whether Theresa May should put her Withdrawal Agreement to a third meaningful vote, with 38 per cent for and 39 per cent against.
Nearly two thirds of Britons (61 per cent) think Brussels is trying to punish the UK in the negotiations, while one in five disagrees (22 per cent).
The findings mark the first in a new series of regular monthly polls in a partnership between The Telegraph and ComRes to track voter attitudes. The poll puts Labour one point ahead of the Conservatives on 35 per cent – almost unchanged since the last ComRes voting intention poll conducted earlier this month. In a general election, it would leave the Conservatives 41 seats short of a majority.
Despite the Brexit shambles, Mrs May remains the most popular politician, with the backing of 27 per cent of voters. Asked if she should resign immediately, 34 per cent agree and 41 per cent disagree.
Although half (52 per cent) regard her as bad at negotiating Brexit, she is still the most popular choice with 29 per cent of voters, compared with 25 per cent who think Boris Johnson would do a better job and 21 per cent who would prefer Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Just 18 per cent of adults think Jeremy Corbyn would do a good job in negotiations, while 58 per cent disagree. He is also the least popular politician, with a 56 per cent disapproval rating, while nearly half have an unfavourable opinion of Mr Johnson (49 per cent).
Suggesting that public trust has eroded in politicians, three in five have an unfavourable view of MPs (59 per cent), compared with only five per cent who say they are doing a good job.
Only one in 10 British adults says they trust MPs to do the right thing by the country over Brexit (11 per cent), while seven in 10 disagree (68 per cent).
The Leave Means Leave poll found nearly half (44 per cent) of the public thinks the Government “seems to be in favour of remaining in the EU and has set out to thwart Brexit from the beginning”, with 27 per cent disagreeing.
ComRes interviewed 2,033 British adults online between March 15-17
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2019, 03:15:29 PM »
https://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2019/03/21/black-thursday-britain-humiliated-on-global-stage-as-it-begs


Black Thursday: Britain humiliated on global stage as it begs EU for more time

Ian Dunt  By Ian Dunt 
Thursday, 21 March 2019 8:49 AM
    

We're not in the room when they decide what happens to us. First Theresa May will make a short speech. Then she leaves and the leaders of 27 other countries make a decision. We wait outside. That's how Britain finds out what happens to it. It's taken just three years - three years of nationalism and political puritanism - to reduce the country to this status.

May's previous speeches have often managed to turn otherwise sympathetic European leaders against her. They don't appear to be any better behind closed doors than they are in front of cameras. In both instances they lack charisma, or intellectual content, or even a hint of personal responsibility. She cannot think creatively about problems. She cannot lay out a convincing case for how to proceed with them. All she can do is blame other people - the EU, opposition parties, the House of Lords, or the institution of parliament itself - for her own failings. Expecting her to live up to the historical moment is like asking an old Casio calculator to log on to the internet.

As it happens, the EU leaders will probably reject the offer of a June extension and fix it to the month of May. It doesn't matter. The prime minister is unlikely to get her Brexit deal through next week, so it's largely academic. The crucial moment will come next week, if it is defeated, as we find out whether they will meet again and provide a longer extension. We expect the answer to be yes, but we are no longer in control of our fate. Other countries decide it for us.

This is the core fact of today: our fate in the hands of others. It is very real and genuinely profound. When else were we brought so low? Which other moment in our modern lifetime ever saw us so humiliated? Suez? That was nothing. A bad-tempered chat with the Americans which made it clear we couldn't run the world anymore. Denis Healey asking the IMF for an emergency loan? Black Wednesday? These were drops in the ocean next to what is happening to us here. We are living through history - and not the good kind. We're living the kind that even in 20 or 30 years' time, people will say: 'Well this is bad, but it's not as bad as Brexit.'
 


The causes of today's events are many and varied. The government wasted time it did not have. MPs were unable to accept the practical consequences of a theoretical course of action they were intent on pursuing. There was insufficient preparation. There was a preference for echo chamber reassurance instead of cold, hard calculation. We fiddled and bickered as the fire took hold.

Remainers want to blame everything on Brexit as a concept. Leavers want to blame how it was pursued. But the reality is that both ends and means have been terrible.

Brexit involves leaving a membership-based regulatory super-power, with huge trading strength, which functions according to the strict and unyielding implementation of law. You are always going to have less control outside than you do in. If Brexit happens, that'll be the case for all sorts of decisions, from the coding on driverless cars to best practice in medical trials. We'll do the same as they do, just to keep life ticking away as easily as possible. The only thing that will have changed is that we won't be in the room making the decisions anymore. Today is just a particularly dramatic, system-wide application of the basic principle which is set to govern our future as a nation: self-imposed exile from power.

But even if you did decide to pursue this project, there are good ways to do it and bad ways. The good way is to come up with a set of deliverable goals and a realistic timetable. The government did not do that. The goals it set were largely impossible - such as maintaining the exact same benefits as single market membership while leaving it - and the timetable was established on the basis of domestic political concerns rather than a disinterested assessment of what was required. This is what happens when you fixate on pleasuring the most hysterical and right-wing elements of your party instead of thinking about the good of your country.

Cooler heads warned about this moment for years: when the result came in, when Article 50 was triggered, when the government refused to be honest about the obstacles in front of it, when May wasted time on a pointless election or ran down the clock in the last few weeks. This is precisely the moment they feared: A proud country, reduced to begging. Brexit is an outrage to the status of Britain. It is an act of national mutilation.

But it is also a reminder, in these final pivotal moments of the Article 50 process, of what's at stake. The power, reputation and pride of the country is on the line. The primary argument against Brexit has always been a patriotic one. And today shows why that is. You can run from that truth. You can hide from it. But there's no place left anymore. It is plain for all to see. The bleak, drab, pitiless reality of what this project entails is now visible to the world. It can still be stopped, and it must be.

Ian Dunt is editor of Politics.co.uk and the author of Brexit: What The Hell Happens Now?
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Wildweasel74

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #55 on: March 21, 2019, 05:40:26 PM »
 Am glad you got a thread to yourself!

seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #56 on: March 22, 2019, 09:05:15 AM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/21/britain-now-has-two-choices-no-deal-long-delay/

Britain now has only two choices - No Deal, or a long delay
•   
Bernard Jenkin
21 March 2019 • 6:20pm

 
There is no point in apportioning blame. The Prime Minister has a point about the House of Commons. However, let he (or she) who is without sin cast the first stone.
The 2016 EU Referendum result was the first time that the electorate's opinions differed from those of its politicians. But instead of humbly acknowledging that the country they governed wanted something significantly different, many MPs have invented all sorts of excuses for distorting the meaning of the result, or simply dismissing its authority. Leave voters were misled, they were too old, too stupid - or even racist. Some have argued that enough Leavers have now died or changed their minds since the referendum to discount the winning margin - an analysis which, funnily enough, is never applied to the 48 per cent. Then came the conspiracy theories. Did social media swing the vote unfairly? Or was it Putin?
But there are certain immutable facts. Parliament agreed the referendum and then accepted the decision. The Electoral Commission has never even hinted that the result was unsafe.
Parliament then gave the Government the power to invoke Article 50, which set the date of our departure. More than 80 per cent of the votes at the 2017 election were cast for parties with pro-Leave manifestos. Parliament enacted the EU Withdrawal Act, setting the exit date, with or without a withdrawal agreement. At no stage can any MP complain they did not know what they were voting for, or complain about a lack of Parliamentary process.
History will show how Parliament came to be offered the worst kind of damage-limitation Brexit. It would provide no rest for those who want to move beyond Brexit. It would become interminable, surrendering our country to the very lawmakers and judges whose authority the voters rejected. For the first time in our history, Britain would have its laws made by foreign powers and adjudicated by a foreign court. Even for a temporary period, this should be unthinkable, but aspects of this are intended to become permanent.
Some suggest that a new government could simply defy the agreement, but any PM would forfeit all integrity if they voted for the Withdrawal Agreement, and then declared, as part of their platform, that they would not respect its terms. Any choice Mrs May now makes will be a better compromise.
The Withdrawal Agreement will definitely not pass. Commons motions can convey the opinion of the House, but they have no legal force. By law, it is the Government's decision whether to choose a ‘no-deal’ Brexit next week or to extend Article 50. Despite attempts by some MPs to turn our system of parliamentary government into "government by Parliament", they now have little hope of changing that practical reality.  So long as the Government remains in office, the decision about what happens next rests with our Prime Minister and the other EU-27 heads of state.
A WTO Brexit is by far the least worst option. It ends uncertainty most quickly. It delivers the UK from EU lawmakers and judges, giving government freedom to respond and react to the new circumstances. The Chancellor has already made clear that there is a £20 billion Brexit dividend up for grabs, a sum that would be greater without the contributions to the EU that would continue under any other option. The sectors caught by the EU’s new tariffs or the protectionist regulatory regime can be helped and supported by the Government.  Most importantly of all, Parliament and Government could fulfil their obligation to honour the referendum decision.
Show more
The worst option is an extension. A short extension just kicks the can down the road.  Industry and others have built up stocks, cancelled holidays and spent money to be ready on 29 March. Delaying for three months would just add more cost and uncertainty. A longer delay is worse still. The costs of EU membership will continue for no long-term benefit. The EU will set conditions which are bound to constrain our rights and influence.
Any extension would be an abject denial of democracy, but at least if the UK is forced into an extended Article 50 period, then our country will not have compromised its ultimate right to leave the EU. Any future government must deliver Brexit and a far better outcome.


Why Britain should not fear a WTO Brexit | Lord Lilley's 30 reasons to embrace no deal
Lord Lilley sets out his arguments in favour of leaving the EU on WTO terms in a report to be sent to MPs on Monday. They are:
1.   It will allow the UK to cash in, not crash out - the UK will not have to pay the £39billion divorce bill
2.    It avoids the corrosive uncertainty which the transition period would bring
3.    The UK will be able to use administrative measures to solve Irish border issue, without the need for a backstop
4.   After resolving the Irish border issue, the UK as a whole will be able to enter a Canada +++ style free trade deal, such as the one suggested by Donald Tusk
5.   WTO is a safe haven, not a hard option. Six of the EU’s top 10 trading partners trade under WTO rules
6.   UK exports to countries trading on WTO terms have grown 3x faster than to the Single Market
7.   EU tariffs on exports from the UK would amount to less than half the UK’s current net contribution to the EU budget
8.   The UK is already a WTO member so would not need to rejoin it
9.   We can start to trade on the new tariff schedules as soon as we leave, without waiting for agreement from other WTO members
10.   The UK is making good progress in replicating the EU’s most important preferential trade arrangements. Switzerland has already agreed to carry over existing preferences
11.   The UK could take up Japan’s invitation to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership
12.   Bilateral trade deals do not have to take a long time to renegotiate. The average renegotiation time is 28 months
13.   “Micro” trade agreements will not be a big issue
14.   Scares about delays to imports are ‘ludicrous’, because Britain will control its borders
15.   There will be no medicine shortages
16.   There will be no food shortages
17.   Manufacturing supply chains and other goods deliveries will not be significantly affected
18.   The UK will not run out of clean water
19.   HMRC’s computer systems will be able to handle extra customs declarations, even if its new system is not fully online
20.   France is determined to prevent delays at Calais for fear of losing trade to Belgian and Dutch port
21.   A new traffic routing system will prevent serious delays to incoming lorries
22.   Planes will continue to fly to and from the EU
23.   Planes will continue to fly to the US and elsewhere
24.   Aircraft manufacturers will still be able to export parts, such as Airbus wings, despite claims to the contrary
25.   British haulage companies will still be able to operate between the UK and the EU
26.   Trade in animals, plants and food will continue after Brexit
27.   UK citizens will not face high mobile phone roaming charges when travelling to the EU
28.   UK car manufacturers have obtained approvals to sell their models to the EU
29.   New VAT rules will not affect the cash flow of importers
30.   British opera singers, musicians and other performers will still be able to tour the EU

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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #57 on: March 22, 2019, 09:35:19 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/cf1fe0ca-4c4c-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62

https://www.ft.com/content/cf1fe0ca-4c4c-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62

   How the EU leaders reached a decision on Brexit

Out of the fast exchange of ideas, April 12 emerged as a political ‘guillotine’
Emmanuel Macron was adamant that EU leaders should not return for a summit next week © AFP
The new April 12 date for Brexit was eventually decided in a 10-strong huddle of EU leaders, all desperately thinking of ways to avoid “a trap” laid by Britain. It was around 9pm on Thursday. The formal session of the Brussels summit had ended after almost five hours of meandering Brexit talks, but dinner was still on hold. A group stayed behind in the meeting room searching for answers to a vexing political puzzle: how to ensure Britain shouldered full responsibility for the historic decision to leave the union, whatever the date of its actual departure. Near the centre of the diplomatic scrum stood a jacketless Emmanuel Macron, the French president, to his side Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and in the background hovered Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, sporting a cosy grey scarf. Out of the fast exchange of ideas, dates and complex conditions finally emerged a compromise: delaying Brexit to at least April 12 and using the date as a political “guillotine” for Westminster, when key decisions could not be avoided. This was alongside the option of a more simple “technical” delay until May 22 to finish the ratification of a Brexit treaty, if the House of Commons had backed the deal.

Earlier that evening Theresa May had “spooked” the room, in the words of one diplomat. Her answers left leaders unconvinced that her Brexit deal would be approved in Westminster, or that she had a realistic fallback plan. Facing more than an hour of questions, the British prime minister “was not able to give clear answers”, concluded one diplomatic note. Making his summit debut Krisjanis Karins, the Latvian prime minister, summed up the mood by asking Mrs May why she remained “so optimistic” given the circumstances. Once Mrs May left the room, the frustrations began to spill over. Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, said it would be “a miracle” if Mrs May’s deal won a House of Commons majority, adding that it may be better if the UK “just leaves”. One leader said the British prime minister had effectively “set a trap”, ploughing on with a ratification strategy that was set to fail and make the EU look as if it was calling time on Britain’s membership. Mr Macron was in turn adamant that EU leaders should not return for a summit next week. If Mrs May lost her vote in the Commons, it would leave the EU taking a crucial decision on extension in a “position of weakness”, with a no-deal exit possibly hours away on March 29. The French president was so insistent on the need to avoid a summit that Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, jokingly asked if he had planned a holiday that week. Diplomats had hoped leaders would quickly endorse a counter-offer: a May 22 exit date, on the eve of European Parliament elections, which would be conditional on the House of Commons passing an exit deal next week. As more and more leaders intervened, it quickly became clear this was not going to be a straightforward summit. Notes of the discussion describe it as “going in all directions”. Most notably António Costa, the Portuguese prime minister, proposed a radical plan, citing Portugal as the UK’s oldest continental ally. It involved Britain being able to decide to stay in the EU for “as long as the UK deems necessary”, as long as it held European elections in late May.

 A surprised participant at the summit speculated that Mr Costa may have been “confused”, having earlier spent time with Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party.
Various other initiatives, often driven by Mr Macron, threw out a host of other end dates, including May 7, May 9 and June 1. The French president swung from tough positions — declaring at some points that Britain should leave by April 11 — to surprising some diplomats by dropping previous French demands for strict conditions on any decision. “I am stoical by nature,” Mr Macron said as he left the summit. “I do everything to be able to control what depends on us. What doesn’t depend on us, doesn’t depend on us.” Mrs Merkel, meanwhile, adopted a more cautious approach to the decision, counselling against closing off options, given the levels of uncertainty in London. This included the possibility of a long extension, should Britain be ready to ask for one and to hold European elections in May. Even some authors of the eventual compromise admit it was more “sophisticated” than first planned. But leaders left satisfied that a way had been found to keep all avenues open, protect key EU interests, while putting the onus on Britain to make a choice by April 12. After the breakthrough in the huddle, Mrs May was called from the nearby UK representation for her third meeting of the day with Donald Tusk, the European Council president. Only once that visit was over — at almost 10pm — could dinner begin.

 “Frankly speaking I was really sad before our meeting and now I am much more optimistic,” said Mr Tusk after the summit. The relief at the outcome came alongside some unmistakable concern among leaders at the chances of actually pulling off a deal. Michel Barnier, the chief Brexit negotiator, told some attendees his central scenario was a no-deal Brexit. Viktor Orban, the self-styled illiberal Hungarian prime minister, even made a rare intervention on the subject, noting the high probability of a hard exit. Recalling his experience of living in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, he said every Conservative party leader only cared about one thing and that was the Conservative party. Mrs Merkel followed up to note the serious risks of a no-deal outcome, and the difficulties this would pose for maintaining an open border with Northern Ireland. She called on Mr Barnier to explore a fallback plan to uphold the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland, according to diplomatic notes. One EU official said: “Tonight was the first time leaders tried to crystallise what a ‘no deal’ means”.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #58 on: March 22, 2019, 10:04:44 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/7175850a-4b08-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62

Philip Stephens YESTERDAY 568
A national crisis risks tipping over into a national emergency. A week before Britain is due to leave the EU Theresa May, in the manner of a banana republic populist, is setting the people against parliament. Stubborn and weak, the prime minister has surrendered her claim to the respect that comes with the office. The Conservative party has fallen to civil war. Without the forbearance of its EU partners, Britain risks tumbling out of the Union.

The sane majority in the House of Commons — across government and opposition, Brexiters and Remainers — must now steer events. It should be as scornful of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s point-scoring as of Mrs May’s threats. A first, precautionary step is to seek a long extension of Article 50 Brexit negotiations. Next, MPs should be ready to withdraw, at least temporarily, Britain’s request to leave the EU.

This would be an unprecedented upending of the constitutional order. But the public officials charged with keeping the wheels turning say the present governance breakdown is also unprecedented. At worst, Mrs May is playing Russian roulette with the country’s prosperity and security. At best, she seeks to blackmail MPs into backing her half-baked Brexit — support me or Britain will crash out.


She could be bluffing — planning to ask for a long extension if her agreement is defeated for a third time before calling an end to her wretched premiership. Her approach so far — jealous of her own position and dismissive of the national interest — cautions against trust.

None of this, of course, makes life any easier for the European leaders at this week’s Brussels summit. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has asked a reasonable question. If they consent to a long extension of the Article 50 process, how could they be sure of not ending up “in the same situation as today”? The answer is they could not. British politics is broken. A protracted pause would be a blind leap of faith.

Mrs May has requested a delay of only three months. She told MPs that “as prime minister” she will not seek another timeout. This was the shabby ultimatum of a weak leader. Collective cabinet responsibility has collapsed. Tory party discipline is non-existent. When she addresses the summit, Mrs May speaks only for herself.

The irony is that, by disinterring the spectre of no deal, she has also reduced her chances of winning in the Commons. Why should Brexit fundamentalists vote for her if the promised alternative is the complete rupture they seek.

It is just possible Mrs May will prevail. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party is being showered with offers of public money. Labour MPs running scared of Leave voters could lend a hand. I struggle, however, to see a majority for such a bad agreement.

Mrs May demands parliament respect “the will of the people”. Here, from the lips of a serving prime minister, are the sentiments of a demagogue rather than a democrat. “The people” are the 52 per cent who backed leaving EU. She assumes they all want her version of Brexit. The 48 per cent behind Remain are “citizens of nowhere” who deserve to be disenfranchised.

Other EU leaders know that a short delay could soon leave them facing again the same question: should they stick to the deadline even if it means a Brexit train crash. The alternative is to take a deep breath, put to one side Mr Barnier’s very fair question, and politely suggest Britain take a lot more time to recover its political balance.

They have every right, of course, to cut Mrs May loose. A long extension would disrupt elections to the European Parliament. Brexit was Britain’s choice. Mr Barnier’s scrupulous courtesy is repaid with insults. The EU is cast as a Soviet prison wrapped up in a German hegemonic plot.

There is another way, however, of looking at Britain’s plight. Do Paris and Berlin, Madrid and Brussels see advantage for Europe in pushing Britain over the edge into an economic as well as political abyss? What does it say of the cohesion of Europe if there is not an amicable settlement? These leaders owe nothing to Mrs May. I suspect, however, that at the eleventh hour they will be generous enough to consider what otherwise might become of Britain.

None of this lifts the responsibility from the House of Commons. Requesting a long extension would presumably trigger Mrs May’s departure. So be it. The clock, though, would still be ticking. Britain has at some point to confront the fundamental choice Mrs May has so stubbornly dodged. Where does it strike a balance between national sovereignty and access to the EU27. It will not be easy to find a sustainable point of balance. The process probably can start only after a general election.

The best strategy would begin with revocation of Article 50. This would not spell the end of Brexit. Instead, Britain would gain space to build a broad agreement around a deal acceptable at once to parliament and the EU27. The new accord could be put to a referendum. If voters still backed Leave, it would form the basis of a second, this time short and amicable, Article 50 process.

Some will say it is too late for radical remedies. But if we have learnt anything since 2016 it is that Brexit cannot be short-circuited. Mrs May’s deal, even were it agreed, would foreshadow years of acrimonious argument. So too would any other plan within the present framework. Much better to start again.

philip.stephens@ft.com
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #59 on: March 26, 2019, 09:25:24 AM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/25/brexit-latest-news-theresa-may-meet-cabinet-amid-pressure-leadership/

MPs back indicative votes to take control of Brexit process leaving Theresa May's authority in shreds
•   Gordon Rayner, POLITICAL EDITOR
25 March 2019 • 11:45pm

Theresa May’s authority was in shreds on Monday night as Parliament seized control of Brexit with the help of three ministers who resigned to vote against the Government. MPs voted by 329 to 302 in favour of a plan by Remain-supporting MPs for a temporary takeover of the Commons that will enable them to decide their own way forward. Thirty Tory MPs defied the whip to back an amendment tabled by Sir Oliver Letwin that means MPs will vote on Wednesday on options such as staying in a customs union or single market, holding a second referendum or even revoking Article 50. The rebels included Richard Harrington, a business minister, who resigned and accused Mrs May of “playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country”.
Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office minister, and Steve Brine, the health minister, also quit to vote against the Government. The Prime Minister could face further resignations if she does not allow free votes on Wednesday, after Remain-backing ministers warned her they would quit if they were ordered to vote with the Government. Mrs May will be powerless to stop the votes going ahead, and if she tries to resist the outcome, Parliament could overrule her again by tabling its own Brexit Bill. Mrs May had already cancelled plans to hold a third “meaningful vote” on her Brexit deal on Tuesday, after admitting it had no chance of winning a majority in the Commons.
But she refused to give up on her deal, telling MPs a “slow Brexit” was the only alternative, and tried to persuade MPs not to back the indicative votes amendment. However, her pleas fell on deaf ears as Sir Oliver’s amendment, tabled jointly with Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, and Hilary Benn, the Labour MP, was passed by a comfortable majority of 27. After Monday night’s vote, Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said: “I would like to congratulate the House for taking control. The Government’s approach has been an abject failure and this House must now find a solution.”Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, warned Mrs May during a Cabinet meeting on Monday that indicative votes could lead to a general election.
Government sources said the result set a “dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future” and Sir Bill Cash, the Brexiteer Tory, described it as a “constitutional revolution”.  Nicky Morgan, the former Cabinet minister, retaliated by saying that Mrs May, who blamed Parliament for not knowing what sort of Brexit it wanted, could not now fault them for taking steps to decide. Sir Oliver proposed a series of votes, beginning with a “plain vanilla” vote on MPs’ first preferences, but warned compromises would have to be made, because: “If we all vote for that which is our first preference, I think we almost know that we will never get to a majority solution.”
He said that once the most popular solutions were identified, Parliament could “zero in on something” that could secure a majority. Mrs May said she was “sceptical” of any one vote commanding a majority and made it clear the outcome would not be legally binding, provoking an outcry from Remain-supporting MPs. She said: “No government could give a blank cheque to commit to an outcome without knowing what it is. So I cannot commit the Government to delivering the outcome of any votes held by this House. But I do commit to engaging constructively with this process.”Nick Boles, the Tory MP and one of the architects of the Letwin amendment, told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “If Parliament refuses to listen to what Parliament has voted for, we will bring forward a Bill that will require the Government to reflect Parliament’s wishes. “I am going to wake up with a broad grin on my face. I am going to think I finally live in a parliamentary democracy where Parliament is sovereign.” Britain will leave the EU on May 22 if Mrs May’s deal is passed before the end of this week. But if the deal is not approved, the UK will leave without a deal on April 12 unless the Prime Minister asks the EU for a longer extension.
During an emergency Cabinet meeting on Monday, Eurosceptic ministers rounded on Mrs May’s dismissal of a no-deal Brexit. Mrs May said: “Unless this House agrees to it, no-deal will not happen. No Brexit must not happen. "And a slow Brexit, which extends Article 50 beyond May 22, forces the British people to take part in European elections and gives up control of any of our borders, laws, money or trade, is not a Brexit that will bring the British people together.”
11:32PM
Jeremy Corbyn congratulates the Commons. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I would like to congratulate the House for taking control. "The Government's approach has been an abject failure and this House must now find a solution. "So I pay tribute to the Hon member for West Dorset, and the member for Leeds Central, and others, who have worked to achieve tonight's result. "The Government must take this process seriously. We do not know what the House will decide on Wednesday. But I know there are many members of this House who have been working for alternative solutions, and we must debate those to find a consensus. "And this House must also consider whether any deal should be put to the people for a confirmatory vote. "Where this Government has failed, this House must, and I believe will, succeed."
10:55PM
A 'dangerous precedent'
The Department for Exiting the EU said the vote on Sir Oliver Letwin's amendment set a "dangerous, unpredictable precedent" for the future. "It is disappointing to see this amendment pass, as the Government made a clear commitment to provide a process to find a majority in Parliament for a way forward this week," a spokesman said. "This amendment instead upends the balance between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.
"While it is now up to Parliament to set out next steps in respect of this amendment, the Government will continue to call for realism - any options considered must be deliverable in negotiations with the EU. "Parliament should take account of how long these negotiations would take and if they'd require a longer extension which would mean holding European Parliamentary elections."
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