[Politics] UK Suspends Parliament

Silvanus

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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/19/mps-put-brakes-on-boris-johnsons-brexit-deal-with-rebel-letwin-amendment

Parliament has voted to withhold its vote on Johnson's Brexit deal until after he's written the letter requesting an extension.

The deadline for him to send that letter is 11pm today. He's legally obligated to do so, but is still saying he won't delay.

We really are in uncharted waters now. We don't know how today will play out, and even less do we know how the next 10 days will play out. If anything can be termed a constitutional crisis, this can-- brought to you by the party of personal responsibility, fiscal prudence, stability and business.
 

Agema

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Silvanus said:
He's legally obligated to do so, but is still saying he won't delay.
It's all posturing. Kill the Brexit Party and claim their votes, have a good shot at winning the general election. He'll have a quick dab at the courts for show, then write the letter.

In my view, Labour, the Lib Dems, Greens (and maybe SNP) badly need to make sure they have an arrangement to drop candidates against each other. The problem with FPTP is that 35% v. 25% v. 20% v. minor others is a potential landslide for the 35%.

I think the Lib Dems have already been positioning themselves on the rightwards side of their middle ground in the hope of taking lots of Tory seats. I think for instance their vocal resistance to Corbyn is not because they won't work with him, but because they want moderate centre-right voters to see them as a party that would block him doing anything too socialist.
 

TrulyBritish

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Silvanus said:
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/19/mps-put-brakes-on-boris-johnsons-brexit-deal-with-rebel-letwin-amendment

Parliament has voted to withhold its vote on Johnson's Brexit deal until after he's written the letter requesting an extension.

The deadline for him to send that letter is 11pm today. He's legally obligated to do so, but is still saying he won't delay.

We really are in uncharted waters now. We don't know how today will play out, and even less do we know how the next 10 days will play out. If anything can be termed a constitutional crisis, this can-- brought to you by the party of personal responsibility, fiscal prudence, stability and business.
What's the rationale for delaying the vote?
 

Silvanus

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TrulyBritish said:
What's the rationale for delaying the vote?
The Letwin amendment is intended to withhold approval from the deal until the legislation to implement it into law has passed.

The fear was that otherwise the "hard Brexiters" (such as the ERG) would vote to approve the deal on Saturday... and then vote against the legislation later, which would cause the UK to default to a no-deal Brexit. The Letwin amendment closes that possible loophole.
 

TrulyBritish

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Silvanus said:
TrulyBritish said:
What's the rationale for delaying the vote?
The Letwin amendment is intended to withhold approval from the deal until the legislation to implement it into law has passed.

The fear was that otherwise the "hard Brexiters" (such as the ERG) would vote to approve the deal on Saturday... and then vote against the legislation later, which would cause the UK to default to a no-deal Brexit. The Letwin amendment closes that possible loophole.
Ah ok, but what happens if an extension doesn't happen? Wouldn't we just end up with no deal anyway?
 

Silvanus

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TrulyBritish said:
Ah ok, but what happens if an extension doesn't happen? Wouldn't we just end up with no deal anyway?
If the EU refused to allow an extension? Then the legal default would be exiting without a deal. Most people expect the EU to allow the extension, though-- particularly since a deal is already going to be brought shortly to parliament, so it's not like it's an extension with no end in sight.
 

TrulyBritish

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Silvanus said:
TrulyBritish said:
Ah ok, but what happens if an extension doesn't happen? Wouldn't we just end up with no deal anyway?
If the EU refused to allow an extension? Then the legal default would be exiting without a deal. Most people expect the EU to allow the extension, though-- particularly since a deal is already going to be brought shortly to parliament, so it's not like it's an extension with no end in sight.
I meant more is there a way for hardline brexiters to prevent the extension request and so force through no deal anyhow?
 

Silvanus

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TrulyBritish said:
I meant more is there a way for hardline brexiters to prevent the extension request and so force through no deal anyhow?
They couldn't have prevented the request being sent, no, it was legally mandated by the Benn Act. The request was sent late on Saturday.

Johnson also sent a second letter asking the EU to disregard the first one, but that's just him trying to save face for the domestic voterbase. The request was legally sent.
 

Agema

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TrulyBritish said:
Silvanus said:
TrulyBritish said:
Ah ok, but what happens if an extension doesn't happen? Wouldn't we just end up with no deal anyway?
If the EU refused to allow an extension? Then the legal default would be exiting without a deal. Most people expect the EU to allow the extension, though-- particularly since a deal is already going to be brought shortly to parliament, so it's not like it's an extension with no end in sight.
I meant more is there a way for hardline brexiters to prevent the extension request and so force through no deal anyhow?
I don't think the hardliners realistically have anywhere to go just now.

A theory is that as the UK/EU need to negotiate a ton of stuff after Brexit anyway during the transition period, they'll attempt to ruin all of that to de facto no deal in the long run anyway.
 

Batou667

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Another delay! Another one! Jesus wept.

Look: when you're in a car traveling somewhere, it's OK to disagree on the destination, or the exact route to get there. You can have a debate about the pros and cons of a certain direction to go in or which road to take. Perhaps put the decision to a vote. But, once the route has been decided, you sit down and buckle up. You don't try to influence the decision post-hoc by covering the driver's eyes or wrestling the steering wheel from their hands or pulling the handbrake every opportunity you get - unless of course you're the kind of suicidal fool who prefers the Pyrrhic victory of everyone crashing in flames over allowing the majority to get their way.
 

TrulyBritish

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Batou667 said:
Another delay! Another one! Jesus wept.

Look: when you're in a car traveling somewhere, it's OK to disagree on the destination, or the exact route to get there. You can have a debate about the pros and cons of a certain direction to go in or which road to take. Perhaps put the decision to a vote. But, once the route has been decided, you sit down and buckle up. You don't try to influence the decision post-hoc by covering the driver's eyes or wrestling the steering wheel from their hands or pulling the handbrake every opportunity you get - unless of course you're the kind of suicidal fool who prefers the Pyrrhic victory of everyone crashing in flames over allowing the majority to get their way.
I'm not entirely sure what you're point is here... it sounds like you're annoyed the vote on the deal is being delayed, but then say it's ok to debate the direction you make the journey, which is exactly what the negotiations are about.
A better analogy with this delay would be:
We've finally got a plan to go to site B by car on a particular route.
Those in favour of the delay want to make sure that route is open and confirmed before we set off to prevent the driver from just taking a different route after we set off.
 

Agema

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Batou667 said:
Another delay! Another one! Jesus wept.

Look: when you're in a car traveling somewhere, it's OK to disagree on the destination, or the exact route to get there. You can have a debate about the pros and cons of a certain direction to go in or which road to take. Perhaps put the decision to a vote. But, once the route has been decided, you sit down and buckle up. You don't try to influence the decision post-hoc by covering the driver's eyes or wrestling the steering wheel from their hands or pulling the handbrake every opportunity you get - unless of course you're the kind of suicidal fool who prefers the Pyrrhic victory of everyone crashing in flames over allowing the majority to get their way.
1) I don't get that analogy.

If the passengers are the people then the driver is presumably government; but Parliament is supreme under UK law which means that Parliament has to right to drive where it wants by whatever route it wants and at whatever pace it wants.

Alternatively do you mean the driver is the PM and Parliament is maybe the front seat passenger with the people in the back? But there again, Parliament is supreme, which means the driver is actually a chauffeur and the front seat passenger his employer, and if the employer demands the chauffeur pull over to reconsider the destination or route, the chauffeur is obliged to do so.

A better analogy is simply that the driver has been told to pull over at the side of the road whilst everyone has another look at the destination and route to check it's right. It means there may be a delay getting there, but it's hardly the car crashing.

2) Realistically, people have always changed plans mid-route.

It's not like a general decides he's going to march on a city to besiege, picks a route, and follows through with that target and route irrespective of how many bridges he finds have fallen down or strongpoints have been put in his way. He will constantly re-assess and re-plan, check whether the target is still achievable and desirable and amend the tactics and strategy to achieve it. And if the general doesn't have the faith of his subordinates, whatever plan he's dreamt up is never going to happen.

3) It is insanity to expect Parliament to dash through a minimally scrutinised rush-job on the most important bill put before Parliament in decades, especially from a PM who has dynamited any trust he might expect from MPs by cack-handedly attempting to cut them out from their legal right to scrutinise. Johnson knew perfectly well he was never going to get his shit passed: it's all theatre in preparation for the obviously imminent election.

4) Let's all remember that passing a Brexit bill could have been the easiest damn thing in the world. All May - and later Johnson - ever needed to do was chuck in a customs union and Labour would back it. That they decided to make the country's life difficult because they wanted to suit their own party rather than wider national will, that's all their own fault.
 

Batou667

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It's an inexact analogy but yes, suffice it to say I'm getting frustrated by the divisive and obstructionist tactics being employed to undermine any kind of bargaining power we may have retained had we presented a united front. These constant delays and eleventh hour stalling tactics are a maddening waste of time, are contributing to the haemorrhaging Brexit Bill (leaving the EU was supposed to SAVE us money, remember?), and do very little to show a strong hand for the trade agreements we're about to embark on.
 

warmachine

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Consider that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill was voted in the first reading, thereby passing the first gate, further than May got. Johnson is refusing to proceed because he wants a general election and the opposition won't grant him one. Even though his Queen's Speech a few days ago was also approved. Johnson has a green light yet he insists on stopping.
 

Avnger

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Batou667 said:
It's an inexact analogy but yes, suffice it to say I'm getting frustrated by the divisive and obstructionist tactics being employed to undermine any kind of bargaining power we may have retained had we presented a united front.
The UK never had any bargaining power. And any hope of a "united front" was gone the second the Leave campaign began using illegal tactics to influence the vote and was thoroughly beaten into the ground through Brexiteers continued flagrant disregard for the rest of the country.


Batou667 said:
These constant delays and eleventh hour stalling tactics are a maddening waste of time, are contributing to the haemorrhaging Brexit Bill (leaving the EU was supposed to SAVE us money, remember?),
Just because you believed the lies about saving money doesn't mean it was ever going to be true.

Batou667 said:
and do very little to show a strong hand for the trade agreements we're about to embark on.
What "strong hand?" No such thing ever existed. The US and China are going to bend the UK over a barrel, and the EU is never going to give a better deal than the one that comes as a part of membership.
 

Agema

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Batou667 said:
It's an inexact analogy but yes, suffice it to say I'm getting frustrated by the divisive and obstructionist tactics being employed to undermine any kind of bargaining power we may have retained had we presented a united front. These constant delays and eleventh hour stalling tactics are a maddening waste of time, are contributing to the haemorrhaging Brexit Bill (leaving the EU was supposed to SAVE us money, remember?), and do very little to show a strong hand for the trade agreements we're about to embark on.
What unity? Brexit fundamentally split the country, because 48% never wanted to leave and of the 52% who did, there was never any common vision of what Brexit meant. What form of Brexit is unfortunately the key issue, and the referendum provided no mandate or guidance for that. So we have soft Brexits and hard Brexits and no Brexits and they're all up there to be fought for.

May accentuated this. She could have had Brexit done and dusted months ago simply by letting Labour into the process. Con and Lab have ~600/650 MPs, and the vast majority of both would have bought some form of soft Brexit (May's deal plus customs union or something similar). But she wanted to pass a Tory Brexit that didn't split her party instead, and her anti-EU hardliners brought her down anyway. Now the hardliners have power, and they want to pass an even more extreme Brexit. They should be resisted to the max, because that's the resistance they absolutely deserve for implicitly telling Remainers, Unionists and soft Brexiters (well over 50% of the country, let's remember) that they can go fuck themselves even more than the last crappy deal.

So you want unity? Complain to the PM that he should put forward a Brexit that has widespread tolerance with the people and Parliament. That's an easy, open goal for anyone (who's not a hardline Euroskpetic).

As for bargaining power, what nonsense. We're a country with about a fifth of the economy of the EU and thus they need us about a fifth as much as we need them. If we go back and ask for a "Norway" type option, we can get it. We can have May's deal plus customs union and have it. We can have May's deal. Johnson wasn't forced to concede anything, he gave it away (and sacrificed the NI unionists to sell it) because he wants more freedom to deregulate. We can't get all the shit we were promised by Brexiters (like freedom of trade but not movement) pre-referendum because it was never, ever there to be gained - like all that shit they told us about holding all the cards and that negotiations would be easy.

What this "unified front" front weakening our bargaining position argument mostly does is twofold. Firstly, it provides an escape route for Brexiters who thought the EU was weak from having to accept they were wrong. Secondly it brews a toxic betrayal myth that'll keep this country in rancorous division for many years to come.
 

Baffle

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Well, that's five more years of austerity then.

Edit: Anyone curious about the defeatism should just check today's headlines in the usual suspects. Shouldn't be allowed to call this shit newspaper.
 

Agema

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Baffle2 said:
Well, that's five more years of austerity then.
Yep.

The Tories are ruthless and know they can stitch together the 20% of the country that will always vote Tory (even if the Tories are promising to murder all firstborn children) and ~20% hard Brexiters plus a bit more. That 40%+ will see them through with the centre and left vote fractured between the other parties due to FPTP.

The Lib Dems will fade come election day because in the end people might like the idea of changing their habits of a lifetime, but when they're in a voting booth putting an X on the paper they'll revert to tradition.

Labour are in the grip of a terrifying cult which refuses to accept just how big a liability their leader is (-60% approval rating, for fuck's sake). They'll tell you forever about cognitive biases and right wing press and blah blah blah, without facing up to the reality that the population don't know and could not give two shits about why Momentum thinks Corbyn is unfairly treated, they just don't like and won't vote for Labour because of him. Of course, defeat should seal his demise as leader, but it means the Tories will hard Brexit us out of the EU and have five years to fuck the country up.

In a way, I suppose the GE was inevitable, because the only other way out was probably a referendum, which Johnson would have refused to offer.
 

Baffle

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Agema said:
Labour are in the grip of a terrifying cult which refuses to accept just how big a liability their leader is (-60% approval rating, for fuck's sake). They'll tell you forever about cognitive biases and right wing press and blah blah blah, without facing up to the reality that the population don't know and could not give two shits about why Momentum thinks Corbyn is unfairly treated, they just don't like and won't vote for Labour because of him. Of course, defeat should seal his demise as leader, but it means the Tories will hard Brexit us out of the EU and have five years to fuck the country up.
And the same people that refuse to vote Labour because of their life-long hated of a guy they'd never heard of five years ago will say it's Labour's fault when the Tories fuck us. But it won't be, it'll be their own fault for not voting for the only party that stands a chance against the Tories (and a piss-poor one at that).

I know Labour have been generally shit on Brexit, but for me this is probably (a) the only way we'll move even slightly towards Remain (Lib Dems don't stand a chance and are shit anyway -- they'll be in bed with the Tories the second they get a chance); and (b) probably more important to me, the only way the Tories will even slightly possibly be kicked out.

But I've been on Twitter today, and I see the Jeremy hate-machine is already in full flow. So we're sunk.

(Personally, I'd rather he moved over and let someone else lead. I don't think he should have to, but he's so widely hated that I see no other way.)
 

CM156_v1legacy

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Baffle2 said:
But I've been on Twitter today, and I see the Jeremy hate-machine is already in full flow. So we're sunk.
I still haven't forgiven him for his comments about the Falkland Islands.
And I'm not even British.