Monday 9 September 2019

Prorogation - the art of doing nothin'

So the winding road of Brexit continues. One thing strikes me is Donald Tusk saying when May asked for an extension last time, please don't waste this time - he knew, of course he knew, we all did.

But anyway, the news that Boris has had enough of the Remain Parliament and wants it gone today is understandable, after all they have certainly had enough of him (yet oddly don't want an election).

The weirder side effect is it makes is very unlikely, unless Boris get his way today with a vote for an election, that we can have an election before the end of November. In turn, with cold winter and darkness, I even wonder whether an election in 2019 will happen. Perhaps the Remain parliament will just be content to let Boris sit there, unable to do anything without their bidding now that they control the Speakership too.

So Boris, to the dismay of the EU, will have to do nothing. Now in business, doing nothing can often be the sensible choice. If there is no way ahead or the timing of markets is not quite right, the best policy is not to do anything. Customer unhappy but we can't improve the service? best keep quiet for as long as possible until they moan? Over-charging for services or product but customer happy to pay - best just leave it? Key internal project needs delivering but everyone is busy on revenue generation (if only..), again maybe another time...

In general, consciously doing nothing can be a very considered and sensible strategy. Even in the case of Brexit, the EU have more or less done this. Allowed the UK to define irreconcilable red lines, throw in a backstop hand grande and wait. Wait for 3 years in fact without doing anything except a bit of whistling.

And to date, they are winning with this strategy of not really doing a lot. So, will Boris' version also work - the landscape may change and he maybe banking on a French Non - which will all but guarantee the Remain Parliament votes through May's deal at the end of October.


Lord Blagger said...

A couple of observations.

In general, procrastination seems to be a very successful strategy. Why?

Second an early general election. The EU has a tough choice to make.

Make life very difficult for the UK, ie barriers at Calais etc. Likely to really piss off the electorate. Alternatively, not do anything. Try and keep the electorate sweet. Problem is that backfires too, because the electorate will say remainers, the BBC and the media, were lying about the catastrophic cliff edge when there is none.

Anonymous said...

Lord Blagger - if the bad guys pass a second Surrender Bill (the WA) the Froggies won't be setting up any barriers...except next weekend when the Gilets Jaunes are out on the streets.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts:

I think if MPs pass May's deal without amendment then the centre ground / remainers will be decimated.

If a modified version of the deal is passed or no-deal happens then there will need to be healing between the UK and EU countries.

This healing will most likely require a scapegoat.

If I was Leo, ROI becoming this scapegoat would be my biggest fear.

ROI is under pressure from multiple fronts:
- USA normalising corporation tax rates - no need for a low tax offshore HQ any more.
- Pressure from EU to raise corporation tax rates.
- Being perceived as being scapegoat and London forging further closer ties with Amsterdam (and other EU cities), shunning Dublin (and other EU member states conspiring in this).

Keen to get feedback on this - am I being hair brained?


Nick Drew said...


No, you cd be right (except it's *hare*). I wrote here a while back that we'd maybe already seen peak Irish-influence; and subsequently that they'd find there was a serious price to pay for being bailed out (as they deffo would, on a big scale) in case of Hard Brexit - i.e. they'd need to equalise their CT / abandon taxhaven status

the one thing is this: we pragmatic Brits haven't historically grasped just how much pain some of the continentals (esp Germany) are willing to take when there's a principle at stake - so it's hard to be sure about all this

then again, they can't believe we're willing to take pain for the privilege of freedom from the EC ...

Anonymous said...

I was over there last week and the media mood on RTE1 and in the papers was edgy (didn't discuss with locals, there were important Gaelic footy matches to talk about) - a lot of worry about no deal and "come on Leo, pull your finger out!".

Then the Traitorous Twenty-One pulled the rug from under Boris and the media mood changed as if a switch had been flicked and we were back in March when every middle class Dubliner was pitying those poor misguided Brits.

Suff said...

Just one thing. “:the remainer parliament will pass Mays WA”Doesn’t the Government have to present Mays WA to Parliament? And hasn’t the speaker already stated that it can’t be presented unless significantly changed? So if Boris doesn’t try any negotiation and nothing is changed, then he is under instruction from the Speaker not to present it??? Or am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

May's "Honours" List

For sabotaging Brexit 'negotiations', arise!

For losing the 2017 elections, arise!

For shooting Brazilian electricians, arise!

Anonymous said...

Sir Geoffrey's Today interview is impressive.

"Well the chief executive of Women's Aid .."

"I couldn't give a toss about her, love, it was 25 years ago, so you can take your political nature and ... do whatever you want with it".

andrew said...

Anon, do you remember the timeslot?

Elby the Beserk said...

Anonymous said...
Sir Geoffrey's Today interview is impressive.

"Well the chief executive of Women's Aid .."

"I couldn't give a toss about her, love, it was 25 years ago, so you can take your political nature and ... do whatever you want with it".

12:42 pm#

Bless him. The only reason there is still a case against Boycott in France is I gather the French legal system, which leaves some case which are not proven as open.

I say this as a Lancy manqué...

Anonymous said...

Andrew, you can hear it here.

I'm just a bit worried he might have committed libel/slander during the interview (you can say things in court which you can't say in the street). I can just see the Woke Army crowdfunding a court case.

And he said the French justice system wasn't like the English (true) which was why he voted Brexit! You could hear almost hear the media studies lecturers choking on their quinoa.

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Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the Remain parliament will be content to just let Boris sit there..."
That is exactly their intention.

"Yet oddly they (the Remain Parliament) don't want an election."
There is nothing odd about it. The Rotten Parliament doesn't want an election because its members know that many of them will lose their seats. They don't have to hold an election until 2022. This parliament will be content to let the EU impose longer and longer extensions, in the hope that Brexit will just wither on the vine. The EU itself does not have to offer any sort of deal, because it is counting on this parliament reneging on their election promises, thus keeping the UK indefinitely in the EU.

Whether such an obvious betrayal will be successful remains to be seen.