Get Brexit Done!

Post Reply
Tony.Williams
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:05 am
Location: Still somewhere in England
Contact:

Get Brexit Done!

Post by Tony.Williams » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:00 pm

The latest slogan of the Brexiters is "Get Brexit Done", tapping into to the public's weary exasperation with the whole business. However, like so many slogans on this topic, this one is misleading. In the current context, it implies that the whole issue will go away as soon as agreement on a deal is reached – and even more quickly if no agreement is reached, resulting in a no-deal Brexit, often referred to as a "clean break".

What is well known to the most casual of students of this issue, but not mentioned often enough, is that the "deal" only covers the terms of the divorce settlement and the transitional arrangements. Once that is done, the much longer and harder process of negotiating the nature of the UK's long-term relationship with the EU will begin, and is likely to take several years.

Far from being a "clean break", a no-deal Brexit would be even worse. There would be no transition period, just a high degree of chaos. And the EU would be very annoyed at the damage this would cause, so most unlikely to be helpful during the inevitable negotiations which must follow over the terms of the relationship as mentioned above. This process is likely to take even longer than with a deal – around a decade of bitter recriminations to look forward to.

There is, of course, one way to avoid all of the problems of Brexit: to make the intractable Irish border problem vanish; to ensure frictionless borders with the EU and thereby avoid the disastrous consequences for many UK industries; to retain a vote – and a veto – over all important decisions of the EU; to continue to enjoy free movement across borders for education, work and retirement; to remove the threat to medical supplies and foods; to continue to work closely with the EU over matters of security and crime prevention; and so on. All of this could be achieved by withdrawing Article 50 and remaining in the EU as a full member.

"But what about the democratically expressed will of the people in the 2016 referendum?" the Brexiters will cry. That is a perfectly valid point – indeed, it has become increasingly obvious that it's the only valid argument against staying in the EU. The answer to it is this: we have learned far more about the consequences of Brexit in the 3+ years that have passed since then, and everything we have learned has been bad news. Public opinion is shifting, and opinion polls no longer show a majority in favour of Brexit - most especially not for a no-deal Brexit. People are entitled to change their minds, and it is not "anti-democratic" to provide them with a final opportunity to do so should they wish. And when the scale of the likely damage to the UK of any kind of Brexit is considered, a new referendum is the lesser of evils.

User avatar
chaggle
Posts: 2525
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:01 am

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by chaggle » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:43 pm

Tony.Williams wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:00 pm
The latest slogan of the Brexiters is "Get Brexit Done", tapping into to the public's weary exasperation with the whole business. However, like so many slogans on this topic, this one is misleading. In the current context, it implies that the whole issue will go away as soon as agreement on a deal is reached – and even more quickly if no agreement is reached, resulting in a no-deal Brexit, often referred to as a "clean break".

What is well known to the most casual of students of this issue, but not mentioned often enough, is that the "deal" only covers the terms of the divorce settlement and the transitional arrangements. Once that is done, the much longer and harder process of negotiating the nature of the UK's long-term relationship with the EU will begin, and is likely to take several years.

Far from being a "clean break", a no-deal Brexit would be even worse. There would be no transition period, just a high degree of chaos. And the EU would be very annoyed at the damage this would cause, so most unlikely to be helpful during the inevitable negotiations which must follow over the terms of the relationship as mentioned above. This process is likely to take even longer than with a deal – around a decade of bitter recriminations to look forward to.

There is, of course, one way to avoid all of the problems of Brexit: to make the intractable Irish border problem vanish; to ensure frictionless borders with the EU and thereby avoid the disastrous consequences for many UK industries; to retain a vote – and a veto – over all important decisions of the EU; to continue to enjoy free movement across borders for education, work and retirement; to remove the threat to medical supplies and foods; to continue to work closely with the EU over matters of security and crime prevention; and so on. All of this could be achieved by withdrawing Article 50 and remaining in the EU as a full member.

"But what about the democratically expressed will of the people in the 2016 referendum?" the Brexiters will cry. That is a perfectly valid point – indeed, it has become increasingly obvious that it's the only valid argument against staying in the EU. The answer to it is this:...

we have learned far more about the consequences of Brexit in the 3+ years that have passed since then, and everything we have learned has been bad news.


...Public opinion is shifting, and opinion polls no longer show a majority in favour of Brexit - most especially not for a no-deal Brexit. People are entitled to change their minds, and it is not "anti-democratic" to provide them with a final opportunity to do so should they wish. And when the scale of the likely damage to the UK of any kind of Brexit is considered, a new referendum is the lesser of evils.
[devil's advocate mode]

That's just Project Fear. You've fallen for it hook, line and sinker.

[/devil's advocate mode]

(Of course I agree with you...)
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

User avatar
chaggle
Posts: 2525
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:01 am

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by chaggle » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:46 am

Where do we stand at the moment?

It seems we have a small chance of some sort of deal being agreed between the EU and Johnson. (update - Ranvir on GMB has just said that it's 'going nowhere'.)

If it does get the EU's agreement, does it then have to be approved by parliament?

If there is no agreement Boris has apparently said that he will ask for an extension as he is required to do by the 'Benn act'.

But he and others have also said repeatedly over the weekend that 'we are leaving on the 31st October' - a complete contradiction.

Anybody clear about what's happening?
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

User avatar
chaggle
Posts: 2525
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:01 am

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by chaggle » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:27 am

Update to the above...

It appears that if he needs to request an extension, he will threaten countries that agree to it (likely to be all of them) that they will be treated as hostile in any future dealings.

i.e. I'm asking for this but you'd better not grant it or else...

The world's gone farking mad.
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

Tony.Williams
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:05 am
Location: Still somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by Tony.Williams » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:18 am

Yes. Equally crazy, OTOH, is Labour's idea of negotiating a new deal then campaigning against it in a new referendum.

That leaves the Lib Dems who want to cancel Article 50 without bothering with another referendum. I sympathise, but I don't think that will wash - IMO the result of the referendum can only legitimately be overridden by another referendum, however much of a time-consuming nuisance that might be (and with an uncertain result, of course).

I would have thought that it would have sunk into the brains of even the dimmest politician by now that there is no such thing as a Brexit on terms which are acceptable to both Parliament and the EU. That indicates the need for a general election, but the outcome of that is wildly uncertain - it could be a Commons even more well-hung than the present one...

User avatar
chaggle
Posts: 2525
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:01 am

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by chaggle » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:16 am

I think the outcome of a general election is more predictable that the result of a 2ref.

Pretty sure the Tories would win as it stands right now.

2ref would probably produce a majority for remain but it would been to be a big one to be decisive.

The LibDems and Labour (and the SNP et al) really need to sort out a electoral compact - a Remain Alliance - asap.

I'm coming around to the idea that an end-of-career politician should lead it - Ken Clarke - someone like that.

The labour faithful need to come round to the fact that Corbyn is toxic. He might be extremely popular in momentum but outside that echo chamber he's a liability.
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

Tony.Williams
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:05 am
Location: Still somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by Tony.Williams » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:36 pm

chaggle wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:16 am
I think the outcome of a general election is more predictable that the result of a 2ref.
The public mood can swing quite considerably in the run-up to an election (just look at the last one). It all depends on events...
2ref would probably produce a majority for remain but it would been to be a big one to be decisive.
Why? It wasn't the last time... although I agree that would be desirable from the PR point of view.
The LibDems and Labour (and the SNP et al) really need to sort out a electoral compact - a Remain Alliance - asap.

I'm coming around to the idea that an end-of-career politician should lead it - Ken Clarke - someone like that.

The labour faithful need to come round to the fact that Corbyn is toxic. He might be extremely popular in momentum but outside that echo chamber he's a liability.
The problem is that they all want different things - even where Brexit is concerned, let alone any other policy issues.

Tony.Williams
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:05 am
Location: Still somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by Tony.Williams » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:58 am

A good (if depressing) article on the German view of all this from Spiegel Online: https://www.spiegel.de/international/eu ... 89999.html

Tony.Williams
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:05 am
Location: Still somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by Tony.Williams » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:11 pm

Tony.Williams wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:36 pm
chaggle wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:16 am
I think the outcome of a general election is more predictable that the result of a 2ref.
The public mood can swing quite considerably in the run-up to an election (just look at the last one). It all depends on events...
A study reported in today's Times states that about half of all voters may be considered as "floating", in that they have voted for different parties over the last three general elections. That compares with the 1960s when only 10-15% of the voters changed their votes. Party loyalty is at an all-time low.

Matt
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:50 pm

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by Matt » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:28 am

Tony.Williams wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:18 am
Yes. Equally crazy, OTOH, is Labour's idea of negotiating a new deal then campaigning against it in a new referendum.
IMHO this is only as crazy as putting on a seat belt and then trying not to crash....

Tony.Williams
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:05 am
Location: Still somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by Tony.Williams » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:33 am

Matt wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:28 am
Tony.Williams wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:18 am
Yes. Equally crazy, OTOH, is Labour's idea of negotiating a new deal then campaigning against it in a new referendum.
IMHO this is only as crazy as putting on a seat belt and then trying not to crash....
Hmm. So a Labour government would go to the negotiating table and say to the EU: "we know that staying in the EU would be the best outcome, but can you give us a rubbish deal to put up against it in a fake competition?" I can't see Leave voters being impressed by that. For sure there would be no incentive for the EU to offer any kind of deal at all.

Matt
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:50 pm

Re: Get Brexit Done!

Post by Matt » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:07 pm

The focus isn't on what they want to achieve but what they want to avoid - crashing out without a deal. If that's on the referendum ballot paper then you should make both the alternative as attractive as possible.
There's no need to assume that bad faith negotiations to sabotage a deal. That would be a stupidly risky move in the face of sensible alternatives. Were we in a different political climate I'd suggest it's so stupid it would never happen. However I've learnt to never say never.

Post Reply