Brexit and the waning days of the United Kingdom

Started by Josquius, February 20, 2016, 07:46:34 AM

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How would you vote on Britain remaining in the EU?

British- Remain
12 (12%)
British - Leave
7 (7%)
Other European - Remain
21 (21%)
Other European - Leave
6 (6%)
ROTW - Remain
34 (34%)
ROTW - Leave
20 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 98


Sunak is clever and hard-working but he's a rubbish politician. He has no vision, is a poor communicator and can't make a decision.


Yeah. I keep thinking he'd be a good junior minister - it feels like the things he really cares about are some of the wonk-ish geeking out about AI and improving maths education. Both of those are good things, but it's very, very thin for a PM.

Edit: And every clip I've seen of him actually meeting the general public, it looks like a disaster.
Let's bomb Russia!


I'd just like to say that when it still mattered (it still is the case it just doesn't matter anymore) in Hungary the President named the day of the national election, not the prime minister. One of these things you can do when you can risk the Head of State having actual powers.


Don't see why that's a good idea - seems designed to cause game-playing if there's ever co-habitation.

I think going back to the PM calls an election is better than the 5 year fixed parliament term that Cameron introduced which had a few other unintended consequences - or it was just badly thought through legislation passed to please the Lib Dems.

You could see that in the 2017-19 parliament especially where there's a hung parliament and you had a situation where the government effectively did not have parliamentary majority on the biggest parts of its agenda but also could not call an election. I used to think that going to the country should be something that parliament would decide - it'd vote to dissolve itself - but that experience has made me think it should be the PM (broadly and subject to eg Lascelles). We saw a hung parliament perpetuating itself but not allowing the government to legislate beyond a budget - it's not great.
Let's bomb Russia!


I am not asking Sheilbh because I know his answer, but can Brexit be at least partially blamed for the series of utterly incapable PMs we have gotten since the vote? Cameron was a disaster because he was a degenerate political gambler who put the country up on a stupid bet and lost, but otherwise he did not seem to be a genuinely profound un-fit for the PM post like everyone else since him. I think the remaining moderates in the party fleeing and not attempting to take over has got to do with Brexit and no sane person wanting to inherit that mess.


:lol: You may not ask me but I'll answer :P

I think it depends on what you mean by Brexit - in terms of the referendum and the result I'm not sure that it's too important. But I think Cameron's policies and the problems for Britain since the financial crisis (at that point still looking not terrible, not great - we know more now) are a large part of the result. So to that extent some of the blame goes to those PMs. I'd point out that the Brexit referendum was not the first time Cameron had arguably gambled the country - and I think the other one mattered more (in both cases though I think the political demand for a democratic decision-point/consent check was difficult to resist or at least justifiable).

After that I think there's two phases. Theresa May does not matter. There was a hung parliament - they held a session where they voted on 10+ options of what they would like Britain's relationship with the EU to look like post-Brexit. Not a single option was able to hold a majority. The closest was for customs union (not unlike May's deal). There'd have been constitutional implications with this but if the "respect the result but soft Brexit" wings of Labour and the Tories could work together, they had a majority in that parliament. They could have seized control of the agenda and pushed that solution. Ultimately both sides decided to prioritise their party lines - each, I'd argue, almost invented reasons not to work with the other. Arguably the really pathetic side of this is that the "moderates" on this issue in both Labour and the Tories actually hated their party leadership, but party loyalty still prevailed.

I mentioned it before but I think it was a really clarifying moment for me - I think it was that night of the indicative votes. And there was a pro-Brexit and an anti-Brexit rally happening outside parliament. The stages were metres apart. Both sides of that rally cheered as options were defeated in the Commons because it opened the path to total victory for either side: hard Brexit (no single market, no customs union etc) or a second referendum (or, for the hardliners, a "bollocks to Brexit" overruling of the result). You had Jacob Rees-Mogg coming out to address one crowd, with Caroline Lucas addressing the other - both encouraging their supporters to keep up the pressure. At that point I think it was clear that both sides were betting on total victory or nothing - and I think it was always a very high risk strategy for the anti-Brexit side because the pro-Brexit side had a political vehicle to do that (the Tories win an election) it wasn't clear to me how the anti-Brexit side would win. I think that was a huge strategic error.

But Johnson wins a majority, and again - he only had an election because Labour and the Lib Dems and SNP voted for it. We were in the fixed term parliament act so the PM couldn't just call an election and he didn't have a majority to dissolve parliament - they could have called Cummings' bluff and parliament forced a compromise on the government (again, constitutional issues but an option). I think the problems with the deal he got after the election are entirely at his door and reflect the fact that in many ways he didn't really care. He's not a details man. The moderates on Brexit didn't flee, he withdrew the whip from Tories who wouldn't back a manifesto giving him a mandate to do no deal. Again I can't help but wonder what would have happend if those party loyalties were weaker and they were willing to flee - I think they now pose as aggrieved men and women of principle but were, broadly, pretty weak and then their bluff was called.

On the other hand for all I'll condemn him, I think Sunak's negotiation of the Windsor Framework and getting the DUP back into Stormont is a genuine achievement which does, from my view, fix a lot of the issues. It also, as I've said, ultimately ends up at the same point as Enda Kenny's initial proposal following the referendum in 2016 (and a solution backed by Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair) which was, at various points, rejected by both sides. But reality always eventually wins.
Let's bomb Russia!


Quote from: Admiral Yi on April 01, 2024, 11:05:49 PMSince there are so many, can you give me a top ten list?  I can think of maybe four: defund the police, hire social workers instead of police, Green New Deal, and Bernie's idea for the government to profit share from onshoring chip production.

Here are a bunch of ideas I think are seen as coming from the left in an American context (not going to rank them as a top 10 though):

  • Student loan forgiveness
  • Funding public education at all levels
  • Socialized health care, various versions including public health insurance exchanges
  • Affirmative action
  • Increase marginal, capital gains, and corporate tax rates
  • Increase the minimum wage
  • Rent control
  • Carbon tax/ credit trading
  • Lowering support for fossil fuel industries
  • Investing in clean energy
  • Legalize weed
  • Decriminalize hard drugs to some degree
  • Gender neutral bathrooms
  • Support transpeople to live as the gender they identify as
  • Anti-discrimination and anti-hate measures in many flavours
  • Harm reduction approaches to the opioid crisis
  • Public transit infrastructure
  • 15-minute city urban planning
  • Vaccines to support youth health (example HPV vaccines for teens)
  • General public policy treating children as people with their own rights, rather than as property of their parents
  • Any number of gun control and regulation measures
  • Programs that protect illegal immigrants against exploitation and harm (sanctuary cities, not checking immigration status in various contexts like domestic violence support or labour law, water stations at common desert crossings,
  • Repealing anti-union laws/ enacting laws that make it easier for unions to organize
  • Landback
  • Massive reduction of the prison population
  • Outlawing for-profit prisons and the prison-industrial compelex
  • Return to a Peelian notion of policing rather than a paramilitary approach.
  • Worker representation on corporate boards
  • Set upper ceiling on credit-card interests, banking fees, and payday loans.
  • Controls on individual stock ownership and lobbyist jobs for government officials during their tenure and for some period afterwards.
  • Restructure pharmaceutical research, marketing, and funding to increase the supply of cheap and generic drugs.
  • Increase parental and injury leave.

QuoteIf I reflexively think defund the police is stupid, and it turns out I'm right, how do you know my thinking was reflexive?

Fair cop on defunding the police - I don't know that your response is reflective :)

My point is more that if you don't think the left has any ideas, then there's something going on with how you process leftist ideas. Reflexive dismissal is a guess on my part, but you obviously know best.

The Brain

Women want me. Men want to be with me.


A reminder that one reason why Brexit has been "inconsequential" is that it hasn't actually happened yet in some areas:

QuoteBrexit checks will mean 'higher food prices' - UK businesses
Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of business, economics and financial markets.

Business groups have described the imposition of steep fees for individual food imports into the UK as a "hammer blow" for small restaurants, cafes and delis.

The UK government has revealed that importers of animal products from the EU will pay £29 per type of item – such as an individual pack of cheese or sausage. The charges will be capped at £145 per shipment, and will start on 30 April, with additional checks in October.

The government has repeatedly delayed the introduction of sanitary checks on meat, dairy and the majority of plants from the EU, fearing that businesses were not prepared for the changes.

Business groups are not at all happy with the newly announced fees.

William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, called for the UK government to U-turn on imposing the fees, which he said would risk higher food prices. He said:

This is an extremely disappointing decision by Defra on the common usage charge. The level of import charges shows scant regard to the interests of both businesses and consumers.

A flat rate fee for bringing most animal and plant products into the UK is a hammer blow for small- and medium-sized importers. It's also deeply concerning for retailers, cafes and restaurants.

Phil Pluck, leader of food logistics lobby group the Cold Chain Federation, said:

Ultimately, this will increase business costs and food prices and potentially lower choices for the shopper.

According to the government, the additional costs of the border checks and new certification requirements could add another £330m a year to business costs. Bigger businesses will be able to spread the costs over a lorry load, but it could make things much more difficult for smaller businesses such as restaurants or delis who tend to import some specialist products in small batches. (Individuals on the Dover ferry or Eurostar train will be exempt.)


The extensions in trade agreements between Canada and the UK are expiring around now, for example.
Being lazy is bad; unless you still get what you want, then it's called "patience".
Hubris must be punished. Severely.


Quote from: HVC on April 04, 2024, 03:55:26 AMThe extensions in trade agreements between Canada and the UK are expiring around now, for example.

Time for His Majesty's colony to step up and do what's right, then.

Grey Fox

Getting the UK back at the negotiation table isn't on our shoulders.
Colonel Caliga is Awesome.

crazy canuck

Quote from: Tamas on April 04, 2024, 04:04:38 AM
Quote from: HVC on April 04, 2024, 03:55:26 AMThe extensions in trade agreements between Canada and the UK are expiring around now, for example.

Time for His Majesty's colony to step up and do what's right, then.

It is far from clear that a trade agreement with a minor nation standing on its own is the right thing to do.  Now if the UK was still within the EU, they would definitely be a priority to continue to have good trade relations.