Thursday 10 January 2019

Remain only a hop, skip and a jump away now - Power from the People

So, as I have long suspected, Parliament is re-asserting its Authority to end a Brexit process it has never supported with its heart (whilst practically voting it through many times..).

It is important to see things for what they are, the rebel group of Tories in any other Government would have the whip withdrawn. They have defeated the Government on the Finance Bill and now voted with the Opposition (in reality if not in fact, due to it being a Tory amendment) to derail the Government's plans for Brexit.

May is no longer in control, even the Speaker of the House of Commons can push her and her Government around. Effectively now May is operating a minority Government, short of 20 seats. If there was say Yvette Cooper opposite, then many of the Tories would have defected and we would see a real change of Government.

As it is, the Remain group in Parliament of 400 MP's are rapidly moving towards the moment where cancelling Article 50 reaches the floor of the House and is voted through by the ex-Tories, LD's and Labour. Brexit will be over.

The only detail is whether they pretend to 'extend' Article 50 to show a further pretence of not quite over-ruling the referendum. In reality, this will only be the choice if they think they can get another referendum or General Election. In the world we are in, the Remainers would be crazy to hold another referendum which they could lose, when all they have to do is assert Parliamentary Authority to win now. Possibly, Labour MP's will want a General Election but I doubt it, as most of them don't want Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister either.

The fly in the ointment maybe the EU itself, the price of revoking Article 50 might well be a referendum or indeed a commitment to remain for X years (something of a large can kick, say 5-10 years).

Again, nothing the Remainers cannot vote through with their Parliamentary majority. Of course, May herself is toast but she has been for a long-time. The Tories have one, very last chance of redemption, get rid of May, install Boris/Hunt or Gove, show they want a hard Brexit, kick out the Remainers and go into an election as the Party of the people.

Very interesting historically, neither Prime Minister nor Leader of the Opposition is in control of events - all the while Parliament is seeking to over-turn a decision of a national referendum against the will of the people as expressed. Truly amazing for this to come about - dare I say it, revolutionary!


Jan said...

If this does come to pass and I agree it's looking increasingly likely, do you think there will be rioting in the streets with bus loads of leavers (including a lot of pensioners with time on their hands)? It could be like the poll tax all over again.

personalmusing said...

"It's my deal or get Corbyn."

Her deal and get corbyn. If it passes then you have years of public whipping of the UK, and each time the UK has to do something stupid Labour get to say this is all down to her WA. Plenty of time to destroy the conservative claim to competence. Signing the WA chucks the entire leave vote.

I am sure you could find the votes to revoke Art50. Though given the sincerity requirement that also gives a huge stick to the EU. Will Mrs May put it forward though?

No-deal, install someone pro-exit and focus on doing every positive economic action that opens up on leaving. (Though for that to work you have to hope that the ed miliband regulate and nanny is driven by May not her successor). A bump then 2 years of growth should give the conservatives a shot at the next GE. You can't make a good deal with a bad person, so stop trying.

Even though it will be terrible for country and party I believe May is going to everything she can to get her WA through - and if Labour abstain there is probably a path.

andrew said...

' to over-turn a decision of a national referendum against the will of the people as expressed'

... calculations are being made in dark rooms.
Leave - 17,410,742
Remain - 16,141,241
No Vote- 12,922,659
they do not care what you did in '16.

What are you going to do in 2019/20 if I do "fill in chosen action" they ask.

May's deal is universally hated. It may well be the best possible deal but come election day any job losses, underfunding the nhs, late trains and the cat being stuck up a tree will be blamed on her. It is a loser. No-one votes for losers.

So WTO or Stay - i really cannot tell which or which would be worse.

I will make a 2 measurable predictions.
1 - may will hang on come what may (she will not resign)
2 - actually, lab have it worse. when may's govt does not dissolve, discipline will fail and the divide between primarially northern leavers and london based remainers will be exposed painfully.

hovis said...

No comparable historical antecedent I can think of, perhaps Parliament plays the role of a high handed Charles I? But more likely the Peasants Revolt's defeat and dissolution is better?

Al said...

Not sure I agree on the sincerity requirement, if a law is passed cancelling departure stating that the UK shall remain in the EU for at least the remainder of this parliament's term then that's it.

Especially if this is passed close to the date - are the EU really going to go back to the ECJ and say we don't agree with this revocation.

Al said...

I don't see that there is time for the EU to agree a new deal (other than dropping backstop).

And I don't understand what further softening is required of May's deal - it's already pretty 'soft'.

The only things I can see happening are:

EU removes backstop (now less likely as UK has even less negotiating space with remainers MPs blocking everything).

There is an extension - I can't see the EU going for this unless there is another referendum - and I can't see the remainer MPs allowing it - too much of a risk of losing it.

So the only course of action available is either brutal crash out ( and it will be if govt. is unable to make contingency measures due to remain MPs blocking them).
Or article 50 withdrawal.

Either way I can't see how either political party can continue as it is.

Nick Drew said...

@ Andrew / may will hang on / actually, lab have it worse

I think this is right (May for at least a few months) because it's become very tactical, and there are quite a lot of politicos who are ferociously good at tactics (and Heaven knows, the Tories have motivation enough to avoid a GE) - as stated before, I still don't see how a GE is inevitable in all this

It's strategy they are rubbish at: but now they only need one strategic principle: Keep Corbyn Out

Historical antecedents is a great game (see Private Eye this week)

1910 is quite a good one. Henry's break from Rome. 1066.

I feel a blogpost coming on ...

Blindingly Obvious said...

Seems CU articles are now falling into the category of "no shit, Sherlock". Don your yellow vest (or simmit if north of the border) and get revolting.

You can also adopt war cries such as "Brexit means Brexit" or "Strong and stable" or even use the old fashioned "anyone that disagrees with me is a traitor".

Parliament, you know the one that you want to be in control, is in control.....

Anonymous said...

@ Parliament, you know the one that you want to be in control, is in control.....

Amazing how animated they have become in the cause of surrendering their powers forever. Stirring themselves bravely for one last act of democratic self immolation.

hovis said...

@BO look forward to it some of the refrains are getting a little threadbare and don't cover anyone's decency, poor loves! Happily we can replace "It was the bus, it was the bus.", "It was only advisory", "They didn't know what they voted for" and "Old people have stolen my future" although I think "democracy is overrated" will remain evergreen for some.

CityUnslicker said...

Well blindingly obvious no one else seems to have noted that we have a revolution when both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition are without power.

Nice for you to say, haha, eat the democracy; But as we really know, this is the fight to STOP the return of power top Parliament.

This is a regression to US tactics, in which May has a big hand, equivalent to eh Shutdown by congress. The executive and the parliament at loggerheads. Really hard to see what happens, but a GE would be really fun now - all set for a massacre of the establishment parties if any semi credible third party appears.

andrew said...

return of power to parliament ... hmm

if we stay, brussels keeps power in a number of areas in exchange for no friction etc.

if we leave, parliament gets power and then passes it away again as it runs off and does trade deals with the US / Japan / ... The EU.

There were not and are not absolutes here.

Tony Harrison said...

Re the EU's price for generously allowing UK to stay, could it mean signing up to Schengen, abandoning the rebate, or (God forbid) joining the Euro?

E-K said...

Yes, Tony.

All of that.

A general election with candidates made to wear EU badges if they are that way inclined.

E-K said...

"Parliament, you know the one that you want to be in control, is in control....."

Or should that be "Parliament, you know, the one you want, to be in control..." Well, it's certainly not the Parliament *I want*.

No-one's fooled outside the bubble and this is not the time for sarcasm if you don't want us going the way of the French.

Bill Quango MP said...

Three weeks of low to no internet. And no faults ever found.

Am I being no platformed by BT?

jim said...

As a Remainer I was rather looking forward to March 29th and seeing the Brexit bus go over the cliff. Leaving might be a stupid idea but would provide the severe shaking our government needs.

I think Brexit is a displacement activity undertaken by a country that knows something is amiss but cannot recognise quite what it is. As such it will achieve nothing. Which leaves me in a quandary, a hard Brexit would probably be very bad news for most people for quite a long time - but it would force our government to wake up and take responsibility. Mrs May's Brexit seems a half baked measure that will be fairly bad and do nothing to shake up the government - more decades of failure. Or we Remain snug in our sty and simply face decades of failure with a government comfortable with its expenses.

None of this alters the fundamental underlying reason for the reasons we went in for Brexit. The left-behinds and a feeling of a lack of a decent economic driver. This is visible across the developed world, we simply caught the disease early. Globalisation is not going away and re-shoring unlikely to help. Science is on a go slow, not many really wizzy ideas around - look at the CES. More education may help at the margin but diminishing returns quickly set in. Look forward to a re run in a decade or so.

None of the three options cheers me up.

K said...

The EU isn't really globalisation, it's some sort of inbetween continentalism.

The reason the old imperial empires grew was to claim resources and lock their competitors out. If you wanted something another empire had you sometimes had to go to war with them to get it. This was a big reason for Japan's aggression as all the resources around them had been claimed by European powers.

The US basically put an end to it by getting Britain to sign the Atlantic Charter and agree to the "freedom of the seas". After WWII there was no benefit to maintaining colonies when you could access all their resources more cheaply through "free" trade.

I think the way blocs like the EU are locking down huge chunks of the world risks returning to the old imperial system, especially since the Chinese are playing that way already.

True globalisation would be doing these at the UN/WTO/G20/etc level without middle men like the EU.