/ No Deal is now the plan, apparently?

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Frank4short 06 Aug 2019

So according to this https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/05/no-deal-brexit-is-boris-johnsons-central-scenario-eu-told the British Government is now working on a no deal scenario as their core plan. Cause apparently the backstop is anti-democratic or some bullshit like that. 

May you live in interesting times and all that....

6
Harry Jarvis 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

It does seem a bit strange that so  much emphasis is being putting on something that only has a one in a million chance of happening. Or perhaps Johnson wasn't quite being straight when he said that. 

1
NathanP 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

Funny how the easiest trade deal in history has proved so elusive whilst, along the way, the Conservatives changed from the pragmatic party of business, fiscal responsibility and the Union to one scornful of expertise, causing a massive run on the pound, spending billions on no-deal preparations, pushing Scotland and Northern Ireland to separation, undermining the financial services and car industries (especially) and with a PM who famously said: "F*** business!". 

2
wercat 06 Aug 2019
In reply to NathanP:

how can a new trade deal be easier than the one's we've got as part of the EU?

These are the darkest days for the country I've experienced

2
DaveHK 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

Democracy in action.

1
wercat 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

This is a monumental mistake, on the same scale as Bliar and Bush going into Afghanistan and Iraq.  This time the effects will be on our own country and lives and our own individual positions, internally and through loss of personal EU status.

Civil wars have been fought over less than this and now I see why.

From European to British and eventually Little English when the Union is dissolved.

Dis-integration

5
Robert Durran 06 Aug 2019
In reply to wercat:

> Civil wars have been fought over less than this and now I see why.

I think there is almost no doubt that this is going to end in some degree of civil unrest. It's beginning to look like either no deal or remain and either way there's going to be a lot of very angry people.

1
ScottTalbot 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

Now that no deal is firmly on the table, we are actually on a position to negotiate. We haven't been up until now, as the EU had no reason to meet us half way, so why compromise!?

It's all probably too late now... If the country as a whole had accepted the leave vote and supported the government, we'd have been in a much stronger negotiating position, in my humble opinion.

75
MG 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

>, in my humble opinion.

I recommend you keep your opinions humble.

23
jkarran 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

I'm not sure we should necessarily buy into Johnson's headlong rush bollocks or his complacent million to one platitudes. The government is clearly trying to mislead electorate, likely as part of the bigger plan to mislead the EU. They, at least Johnson (I'm sure some of the ERG ball-bags are) cannot seriously be expecting to fight an election in the immediate aftermath of no-deal on an absolutely mental English nationalist ticket amid rationing and riots. They're just swinging their dicks about for now to see if the EU's resolve holds in the face of their publicity and spending splurge. While ever that remains in question he still stands a fair chance of seeing off a no confidence motion this September with. Where he goes from there though with no room to back down domestically, no-deal unsurvivable electorally for the Conservatives, likewise delay and no-change to the WA realistically on the horizon or a majority to ratify it should the EU blink. He currently has no clear way out of the corner he's painted himself into.

As ever with brexit, something will have to change and I don't see Johnson yet willing to fall on his sword over this.

jk

4
Rob Exile Ward 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

You're right to be humble.

Leaving the EU will be the biggest catastrophe to hit the UK since declaring war on Germany in 1939. And even though we won that, it left us broke, exhausted and diminished, whatever Tories might like to think. Our excuse then was we had no choice. Historians will look back in a hundred years with incredulity that we managed to create such a mess from such a strong position.. 

I think Scotland will be independent within a couple of years, the Troubles will kick off once again in Ireland - fuelled at least in part by Scottish independence -  and London will once again be the black hole that sucks remaining resource, power and money from the rest of England and Wales.

13
Robert Durran 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

>  If the country as a whole had accepted the leave vote and supported the government, we'd have been in a much stronger negotiating position, in my humble opinion.

Possibly, but then we would have left by now with a deal which, like the WA, nobody was really very happy with. As things stand, there's still a decent chance we could end up remaining.

2
ScottTalbot 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> As things stand, there's still a decent chance we could end up remaining.

I'm not convinced that this would be a good thing. Our position in Europe will be so significantly weakened over this whole thing, that we will have no voice.

30
ScottTalbot 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

You speak with such absolute certainty, yet there are incredibly intelligent people on both sides of this debate.

I don't think anyone KNOWS what is going to happen. I do think it's safe to say that there will be massive upheaval and short term economic woes, but how long it will take to recover is anyone's guess.

14
john arran 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> You speak with such absolute certainty, yet there are incredibly intelligent people on both sides of this debate.

... all of whom now accept that a no-deal outcome will have a severe detrimental impact, from which the UK economy will take years or decades to recover, if it's able to do so at all.

7
NathanP 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

Ah yes, it's all the fault of the remoaners, the enemy within, the liberal metropolitan elite. It certainly wasn't because the Brexiteers had no plan, no common position and their most extreme ideologues voted against the best withdrawal agreement that the Government could negotiate.

The reason the EU doesn't take the threat of a deliberate no-deal exit seriously is that it would be so obviously and disproportionately damaging to the UK that they don't think anybody would be stupid and self-destructive enough to actually do it. Even if we convince them we really are that stupid - to be fair, Boris is doing a cracking job in that respect - they still won't give us what we now want because they are more bothered about maintaining the single market and customs union than they are about the relatively small and manageable economic damage to the EU.

3
ScottTalbot 06 Aug 2019
In reply to NathanP:

I agree that the whole thing has been a farce, from the beginning. There's no debating that.

My point was purely about the negotiations. It's impossible to negotiate from a position of such weakness., which in turn, has helped to create a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy.

From my seat here on the fence, it appears that the remainers have been far more interested in proving themselves right, than coming up with ways of minimising the detrimental impact of leaving.

28
Pete Pozman 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> You speak with such absolute certainty, yet there are incredibly intelligent people on both sides of this debate.

Where's your proof? If there are intelligent people on the Brexit side of the debate they must have the conscience of a butcher. 

9
Rob Exile Ward 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

Not one of those 'incredibly intelligent people ' on the other side have been able to point to a single f*cking benefit in the short term; not one. 

My predictions are based on common sense. Go to Dover and imagine - if you can - what the scenes will be like in 2 months time, when customs and border officials on both sides have no idea what they are supposed to be doing. Some of them will only have been in the job for a few weeks and all the rules will change overnight. You'll be able to smell the rotting food from the M25.

Put yourself in the place of farmers who have livestock to export - they can't stop them growing! - but cannot put them on transports in case of holdups and the animals dying of hunger and thirst on the dockside or M20. Put yourself in the board room of a Japanese company planning a new factory for goods to be primarily sold to Europe, and wonder why on earth they would consider investing in a deeply divided and unstable UK that has a volatile currency and no trade agreements with ANYWHERE. Put yourself in the of Irish nationalists who see this as the opportunity - whether peaceful or otherwise - to finally make the big push for reunification. Make sure you're not in Europe on Nov 1 and fall ill, because no one will have any idea how your treatment should be paid for. And, although there is an agreement that planes can legally fly, that will only last 6 months: do you suppose the likes of Boris and his chums can even plan that far ahead?

You may take comfort that we've accommodated political traumas in the past; well, nothing like this in the last century. When we have a polity where the likes of a scumbag crook like Farage are SERIOUSLY being talked of as a future PM, then you may be assured that we are in  pretty much as deep as you can get.

Post edited at 14:16
6
RomTheBear 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> Now that no deal is firmly on the table, we are actually on a position to negotiate. We haven't been up until now, as the EU had no reason to meet us half way, so why compromise!?

You don’t seen to understand how negotiation work when you are in a position of weakness. You can’t make threats, you have instead to build trust by looking for win-win compromises.

Our negotiating position is currently equivalent to that of a fresh graduate on the job market demanding prospective employers a six figure salary. You end up with no job.

6
Toerag 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

>  it appears that the remainers have been far more interested in proving themselves right, than coming up with ways of minimising the detrimental impact of leaving.

Like what? set up new trade deals? Can't be done quick enough, and won't help manufacturers embedded in relationships with EU buyers. What else can be done?

1
RomTheBear 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> From my seat here on the fence, it appears that the remainers have been far more interested in proving themselves right, than coming up with ways of minimising the detrimental impact of leaving.

As I’ve said on a previous thread, they are complacent and naive idiots who should have voted the withdrawal agreement when they had the chance.

They naively thought that democracy couldn’t be subverted, that problem is that it can.

8
Harry Jarvis 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> My point was purely about the negotiations. It's impossible to negotiate from a position of such weakness., which in turn, has helped to create a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy.

If it is the case that negotiations have been done from a position of weakness, that weakness was an inevitable result of the closeness of the referendum result. Quite why those us who believe in the benefits of EU membership should simply roll over and 'get behind the Government' is beyond me, especially when it is becoming increasingly clear that leaving the EU will be bad for the economy of the country and for the reputation of the country around the world.

> From my seat here on the fence, it appears that the remainers have been far more interested in proving themselves right, than coming up with ways of minimising the detrimental impact of leaving.

I'm not sure what else they should be doing? The legislative process has been clear and the Government has, nominally, been in charge of that. I don't see why the remainers should take any responsibility for the actions of the ERG and the DUP, who have been most active in preventing Brexit, and have also been wholly incapable of proposing any meaningful solutions to the backstop impasse. 

Post edited at 14:19
2
Blanche DuBois 06 Aug 2019
In reply to wercat:

> From European to British and eventually Little English when the Union is dissolved.

Might be an idea to reposition the "GB" initialism as referring to "Gammon Bigots", what with most countries believing that's what Brits are these days. 

3
RomTheBear 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Quite why those us who believe in the benefits of EU membership should simply roll over and 'get behind the Government' is beyond me, especially when it is becoming increasingly clear that leaving the EU will be bad for the economy of the country and for the reputation of the country around the world.

The remainers in parliament had a very good option which was to vote the withdrawal agreement. That agreement guaranteed a two year transition period whilst closing no doors to a close relationship or even remain. It also guaranteed EU citizens rights, solved the Irish border, etc etc. It was a good agreement.

Voting that agreement would have guaranteed the exclusion of no-deal, whilst preserving optionality further down the line.

Instead they pushed us inevitably to no-deal, whilst not having the balls to revoke or go for a second ref.

15
HansStuttgart 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> I'm not sure what else they should be doing? The legislative process has been clear and the Government has, nominally, been in charge of that. I don't see why the remainers should take any responsibility for the actions of the ERG and the DUP, who have been most active in preventing Brexit, and have also been wholly incapable of proposing any meaningful solutions to the backstop impasse. 

There is a large asymmetry between the remainers and the ERG in blocking the WA.

For the ERG it is a low-risk option. Because blocking the WA brings their preferred option of no-deal closer and they get the positions of power by installing the PM. Also, they probably don't care much between remaining and leaving with the WA.

For the remainers, it is a high-risk option. The path to remain does not become automatic by blocking the WA. They need to fight with procedures in the HoC to get anywhere. Then they need to win an election and a referendum. And remainers do care about the destruction caused by no deal.

So "all or nothing" is a good strategy for the ERG, not so much for remain.

Rob Exile Ward 06 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Extraordinary times when we look back nostalgically at what TM had agreed just a few months ago.

'Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you've got till it's gone...' 

4
rogerwebb 06 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The remainers in parliament had a very good option which was to vote the withdrawal agreement. That agreement guaranteed a two year transition period whilst closing no doors to a close relationship or even remain. It also guaranteed EU citizens rights, solved the Irish border, etc etc. It was a good agreement.

> Voting that agreement would have guaranteed the exclusion of no-deal, whilst preserving optionality further down the line.

> Instead they pushed us inevitably to no-deal, whilst not having the balls to revoke or go for a second ref.

Yes. (thought it needed more than a like) 

3
Frank4short 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

You never had ANY strength of negotiating position. The offers were always Norway or Canada.  The single market and the 4 freedoms were ALWAYS more important than any potential consequences to the EU of no deal. Also the EU have form for not backing down in a crisis, look what happened the Greeks. The fact that a portion of your politicians and your media managed to convince the country otherwise is the ridiculousness of it all. 

Post edited at 14:57
4
NathanP 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

But we are inevitably in a weak position because of the relative size of the two parties and relative importance of the trade. Threatening to seriously damage the UK on the basis that it would inconvenience the EU doesn't make us look strong, it makes us look deluded and would never have forced the EU to abandon some of their fundamental rules about the Single Market and Customs Union.

If we leave with no-deal our position will be even weaker but Brexiteers seem to think we'll then easily force the USA and the Chinese to give us immediate and advantageous trade deals. More delusions.

3
Robert Durran 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> I'm not convinced that this would be a good thing. Our position in Europe will be so significantly weakened over this whole thing, that we will have no voice.

Why? Certainly not anywhere as pathetically weak as if we leave.

2
NathanP 06 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

The opposition did what oppositions do and opposed. Conservative remainers generally voted for the WAB, despite it being based on a fairly hard Brexit - it was the extreme ideologues of the ERG and DUP that voted against compromise. Making this the fault of remainers is just perverse.

2
jkarran 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> > As things stand, there's still a decent chance we could end up remaining.

> I'm not convinced that this would be a good thing. Our position in Europe will be so significantly weakened over this whole thing, that we will have no voice.

I'm not clear, do you mean if we remain with our economy and existing treaties intact or leave with them in tatters?

jk

Post edited at 15:11
jkarran 06 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The remainers in parliament had a very good option which was to vote the withdrawal agreement. That agreement guaranteed a two year transition period whilst closing no doors to a close relationship or even remain. It also guaranteed EU citizens rights, solved the Irish border, etc etc. It was a good agreement. Voting that agreement would have guaranteed the exclusion of no-deal, whilst preserving optionality further down the line.

No it wouldn't, it just kicked the no-deal nonsense two years down the road, the main difference being NI would have escaped it. That is pretty much what has happened anyway by seeking A50 extensions instead except we're still in, we can still choose to remain though bit by bit our options are being closed down, at least we still have some.

I don't agree the WA path was reversible. Once we're out we're out, the only way we could be allowed back would be through reapplication and compliance with the rules as they exist today, Euro, Shenghen, full budget contributions... in this environment that is never ever going to fly. If we leave there is no way back until the baby-boomers are mostly dead, if then.

> Instead they pushed us inevitably to no-deal, whilst not having the balls to revoke or go for a second ref.

Plenty do 'have the balls', alas not a majority. You can hardly castigate those that do for the inaction of others.

jk

Post edited at 15:27
pasbury 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> I agree that the whole thing has been a farce, from the beginning. There's no debating that.

> My point was purely about the negotiations. It's impossible to negotiate from a position of such weakness., which in turn, has helped to create a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy.

> From my seat here on the fence, it appears that the remainers have been far more interested in proving themselves right, than coming up with ways of minimising the detrimental impact of leaving.

Threatening no deal is the ultimate position of weakness, where's the strength in saying, essentially, if you wont agree to my terms I'll shoot myself in the leg, oh and you might get a bit of blood on you?

5
Graeme Alderson 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

You voiced my concerns/anger.

1
Andy Hardy 06 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> It's all probably too late now... If the country as a whole had accepted the leave vote and supported the government, we'd have been in a much stronger negotiating position, in my humble opinion.

If the quitters had been able to point to one tangible benefit of brexit, something positive for the whole of the UK and only made possible by brexit, they might have had more success in winning remoaners round, in my humble opinion. But they can't, because there isn't one.

6
pasbury 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

We have become a mean spirited, shitty little nation of f*cking idiots.

2
Graeme Alderson 06 Aug 2019
In reply to pasbury:

No, a significant proportion of 52% of us have become (or been confirmed as) mean spirited f&cking idiots.

There are still a significant proportion of Brits that are decent, welcoming human beings. from your posts I guess you are, I hope that I come across as one.

6
pasbury 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

yes you do and you're right. I'm just feeling particularly bitter that we've come to this, and that opinions have hardened to such an extent that, given a general election I would not bet against a Brexit Party/Conservative government.

1
Martin W 06 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> [The WA] guaranteed a two year transition period whilst closing no doors to a close relationship or even remain.

I think you're flat wrong with that last assertion: remain would not have been on the table once the two year period had started since Article 50 would have come in to effect and the UK would have left the EU at that point.  The trade and other arrangements put in place by the WA would have looked and felt much the same, but the UK's EU membership would be at an end.  If, during that two year period, the UK had decided that it wanted to be a member of the EU after all then it would have been starting negotiations as a prospective new joiner.

How welcoming the EU would be towards a state which had so recently put the stability of the EU under threat is open to debate.  What is pretty damn certain IMO is that the terms for the UK rejoining at any point after Article 50 comes in to effect would include having to abandon its domestic currency and use the Euro, just like any other state wanting to join the EU as a new member these days.  That's before you even start looking at all the other special deals that the UK has won from the EU over the years that would almost certainly not be on the table next time - first and foremost the UK's current healthy rebate on its budget contribution.

I believe that having to drop Sterling would be a pretty insurmountable political barrier within the UK to acceptance of EU membership in future.

I reckon that if the UK leaves the EU now, it's never rejoining in my lifetime.

Post edited at 17:15
1
wercat 06 Aug 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

For the ERG "All or nothing"  means  "We get All while other people suffer, or other people get Nothing"

1
HansStuttgart 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin W:

> How welcoming the EU would be towards a state which had so recently put the stability of the EU under threat is open to debate.  What is pretty damn certain IMO is that the terms for the UK rejoining at any point after Article 50 comes in to effect would include having to abandon its domestic currency and use the Euro, just like any other state wanting to join the EU as a new member these days.  That's before you even start looking at all the other special deals that the UK has won from the EU over the years that would almost certainly not be on the table next time - first and foremost the UK's current healthy rebate on its budget contribution.

FWIW I don't think the euro will be a requirement. It is used in practice with new member states as a situation to aspire to but that can be postponed indefinitely. In the next 10 years there is no interest from an EU point of view to have the UK in the euro, because its domestic politics is not very stable.

Schengen will depend on Ireland because of the common travel area. I think that if Ireland decides it wants to be in Schengen, the UK will be too. But some subtle diplomacy with the Irish government could sort this to satisfaction.

The rebate would have been gone without brexit anyway in the next MFF. It was linked to a part of CAP that has been reformed.

All Cameron's opt-out are gone in principle, because they had a subclause that they would disappear if the UK were to invoke a50.

The joining as a new member process is a formal way of asking the questions: What do you want to contribute to the EU? and How do you see your place in the development of the EU? In the circumstances it is fair to ask such questions of the UK if it rejoins. They are also questions a new PM of the UK would have to be able to answer (but unformally) if the UK revokes and therefore continues its existing rights as a member.

RomTheBear 06 Aug 2019
In reply to NathanP:

> The opposition did what oppositions do and opposed. Conservative remainers generally voted for the WAB, despite it being based on a fairly hard Brexit - it was the extreme ideologues of the ERG and DUP that voted against compromise. Making this the fault of remainers is just perverse.

It’s the fault of anybody who didn’t vote for the WAB. Complacent idiots who systematically dismissed no deal as a possibility despite the fact that it was right in their face.

7
HansStuttgart 06 Aug 2019
In reply to NathanP:

> The opposition did what oppositions do and opposed.

???

Wasn't there a bit about doing what is in the interest of country and constituency?

Dave the Rave 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I think there is almost no doubt that this is going to end in some degree of civil unrest. It's beginning to look like either no deal or remain and either way there's going to be a lot of very angry people.

Where’s Noel Edmonds when we need him most?

pasbury 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Dave the Rave:

If two million people dressed as Mr Blobby plus Mr Blobby voice no government on earth would be safe.

Greenbanks 07 Aug 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> We have become a mean spirited, shitty little nation of f*cking idiots<

Oh no! That’s far too much of a measured understatement

2
Martin W 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Where’s Noel Edmonds when we need him most?

Rolling around in a pile of a million £5 notes?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49138587

Robert Durran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Where’s Noel Edmonds when we need him most?

Don't get that.

1
pasbury 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Greenbanks:

> Oh no! That’s far too much of a measured understatement

>

I could go on but it's bad for my blood pressure.

1
Andy Clarke 07 Aug 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> We have become a mean spirited, shitty little nation of f*cking idiots.

When did we get like this, I wonder. I've just started re-reading the magisterial V for Vendetta and this is what Alan Moore wrote in his introduction in 1988, as Thatcher was starting her third term:

I'm thinking of taking my family and getting out of this country soon, sometime over the next couple of years. It's cold and it's mean-spirited and I don't like it here anymore. Goodnight England. Goodnight Home Service and V for Victory...

I don't think he did leave, and I never would - but I know how he felt...

1
wercat 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Should we form a) The Home Guard

or

                           b) The Guardians of Selfhood?

They Don't Like it Up e'm Captin Mannerin'

Post edited at 12:51
1
Rob Exile Ward 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Is Scotland significantly better? Serious question.

Andy Clarke 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Is Scotland significantly better? Serious question.


Well I certainly have more sympathy with how they voted in the referendum!

DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Is Scotland significantly better? Serious question.

I'm not sure such generalisations are useful or even possible but...I think it's more welcoming and forward / outward looking. 

For me, a Scotland independent in Europe is now the best way out of this mess for those of us north of the border. There are plenty of people who think the union has never benefited Scotland but I certainly feel like it's ceased to benefit us since the Brexit referendum.

Post edited at 13:08
1
wercat 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

So, can we set the boundary from the Lune across to the Tees?

pasbury 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> When did we get like this, I wonder. I've just started re-reading the magisterial V for Vendetta and this is what Alan Moore wrote in his introduction in 1988, as Thatcher was starting her third term:

> I'm thinking of taking my family and getting out of this country soon, sometime over the next couple of years. It's cold and it's mean-spirited and I don't like it here anymore. Goodnight England. Goodnight Home Service and V for Victory...

> I don't think he did leave, and I never would - but I know how he felt...

Just seven years ago we were all glued to the London Olympics, the opening and closing ceremonies were great demonstrations of openness, inclusiveness and multiculturalism, also of a country quite at ease with itself, self deprecating and not to serious (half the music was provided by a band called F*ck Buttons!). Not scared about celebrating itself either. Outward looking.

I remember it vividly because my son took his first steps across our living room during the closing ceremony, I thought he could look forward to a bright future here. Now I'm not so sure.

What went wrong? Years of Tory government; disaffecting people and then giving them a chance to kick 'the establishment' in the balls. Then dealing with the result in a grotesquely incompetent and divisive way.

1
DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to wercat:

> So, can we set the boundary from the Lune across to the Tees?

Sounds good to me.

2
DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> What went wrong? Years of Tory government; disaffecting people and then giving them a chance to kick 'the establishment' in the balls. Then dealing with the result in a grotesquely incompetent and divisive way.

There was an Adrian Chiles program on R4 where he interviewed people from both sides before and after the referendum.  Several Brexit voters expressed exactly that sentiment, that they voted to leave because they were unhappy with austerity and cuts to public services. I couldn't understand why they felt leaving the EU would improve those things unless they believed the Boris Bus Bollocks.

1
Robert Durran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

> For me, a Scotland independent in Europe is now the best way out of this mess for those of us north of the border.

That is what my heart keeps telling me......... but then my head reminds me about the implications of a hard border at Berwick and the nightmare of disentangling three hundred years of joint institutions.

Scotland is f***** if we stay and f***** if we leave

1
ScottTalbot 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

Would the EU accept an independent Scotland? Serious question, as I thought someone had said that Scotland were too small to be of any interest/benefit to Europe (Paraphrasing obviously). If i remember correctly, this was not long after the referendum, when the SNP started banging on about another referendum for independence. I havent really taken much notice of the scottish situation since, if im honest.

DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> Would the EU accept an independent Scotland? Serious question, as I thought someone had said that Scotland were too small to be of any interest/benefit to Europe (Paraphrasing obviously). 

Nobody knows is the honest answer but high ranking EU officials have made encouraging noises and there are plenty of other small nations in the EU.

I'm of the opinion that the Scotland wouldn't get into the EU comments were largely scaremongering pre-referendum.

Post edited at 13:52
DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> That is what my heart keeps telling me......... but then my head reminds me about the implications of a hard border at Berwick and the nightmare of disentangling three hundred years of joint institutions.

It scares the shit out of me but I still think it's the best option.

pasbury 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> That is what my heart keeps telling me......... but then my head reminds me about the implications of a hard border at Berwick and the nightmare of disentangling three hundred years of joint institutions.

> Scotland is f***** if we stay and f***** if we leave

Aren't a lot of the institutions already disentangled since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and other functional devolution?

And the border at least wouldn't have the threat of terrorism hanging over it.

Robert Durran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

> It scares the shit out of me but I still think it's the best option.

I think I could probably only vote for it if, learning the lessons of Brexit, there was the guarantee of  a confirmatory vote once a withdrawal agreement had been negotiated with England and a joining agreement negotiated with the EU. In fact it would be hypocritical of the Scottish government not to take these precautions.

DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yes, agree with all of that.

jkarran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> FWIW I don't think the euro will be a requirement. It is used in practice with new member states as a situation to aspire to but that can be postponed indefinitely. In the next 10 years there is no interest from an EU point of view to have the UK in the euro, because its domestic politics is not very stable.

> Schengen will depend on Ireland because of the common travel area. I think that if Ireland decides it wants to be in Schengen, the UK will be too. But some subtle diplomacy with the Irish government could sort this to satisfaction.

The merest suggestion of a hint of a threat of Shengen (we'd easily secure an exemption, it makes little sense for an island nation) or the Euro (will we even meet the entry requirements by the time this has played out) will be enough to kill any rejoin campaign stone dead whatever the reality. As I understand it we'd also have to reform the House of Lords which will prove all but impossible. If we leave there is realistically no way back for Britain without decades of thankless work and demographic change.

Frankly you'd struggle to sell many remainers on the Euro and Shengen!

jk

Post edited at 13:59
DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Aren't a lot of the institutions already disentangled since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and other functional devolution?

There's still a huge amount that's common though.

As for the border, that has the potential to be a huge advantage for Scotland. Scotland in the EU with access to a market of nearly 60 million, I'd be surprised if businesses couldn't quickly work out a way to make that work for them!

Post edited at 13:51
jkarran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> Would the EU accept an independent Scotland? Serious question, as I thought someone had said that Scotland were too small to be of any interest/benefit to Europe (Paraphrasing obviously).

Would the 27 have accepted a breakaway Scotland in 2014? Probably not. Existing members with troublesome separatist movements and a veto would have been exceptionally hard to convince that was a precedent they could afford to set.

Accepting a fragment of the UK back after this debacle is a slightly different proposition though the earlier concerns won't entirely have gone away. Like with Northern Ireland the difficult land border may prove a bigger hurdle, one not entirely in Scotland's control given the power imbalance with its larger and likely belligerent southern neighbour.

Size alone is no barrier and anyway, population wise they'd rank mid table

> If i remember correctly, this was not long after the referendum, when the SNP started banging on about another referendum for independence. I havent really taken much notice of the scottish situation since, if im honest.

In common with a lot of brexiters I'd wager!

jk

Post edited at 14:02
ScottTalbot 07 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

You assume im a brexiter, yet thats something I've never claimed to be. 😉

rogerwebb 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

> For me, a Scotland independent in Europe is now the best way out of this mess for those of us north of the border.

I have to disagree. I think as Ian Blackford said a no deal brexit is jumping off a cliff edge, no need to jump off another one too. 

Look at the mess the UK is in with a 52/48 split, why would Scotland look any better with a similar split? 

If there is one thing that brexit has taught us it must be splitting up isn't so simple. It would have been a lot easier if the UK was still in the EU, considerably easier if the withdrawal agreement had passed (I cannot understand the SNP's tactics on that). 

We would be negotiating our own withdrawal agreement and trade deal with a rUK that was simultaneously negotiating with the EU, whilst trying to negotiate with the EU that would rightly be trying to protect itself. 

 As things stand there would be a hard border with rUK where 60% of our export trade goes. Economically it would not be pretty, socially it would be divisive. 

I cannot understand those, such as Mr Blackford who having rightly seen the simplifications made by brexiteers then go on to talk in the same simplistic terms about independence. 

Why the SNP didn't support the withdrawal agreement in return for a S30 order, thus recognising the choice of English and Welsh voters and establishing a mechanism for Scottish voters to go a different way in an orderly brexit and independence perplexes me. As it is we are all left with what increasingly looks like the worst case scenario. 

DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

I appreciate all those concerns about independence but the brexit shambles and continuing rightwards trend in UK politics has flipped me over from feeling independence isn't worth the risk to feeling it is. I'll freely admit to it being a decision of heart rather than head. I see hope for a better future in independence where I see none in the union in its current form.

jkarran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

> You assume im a brexiter, yet thats something I've never claimed to be. 😉

If I'd assumed that I'd have written 'In common with other brexiters...'

jk

1
Ramblin dave 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

New proposal: revoke Article 50, England gets a referendum to leave the UK.

Consequences:

Scotland still in the EU, not ruled from London, so Scots are happy.

Northern Ireland still in the UK, so the DUP happy.

No hard border with Ireland, so Sinn Feinn / RoI / Europe / the US are happy.

Little Englanders have an opportunity to leave the EU (as they've already established that a seceding region doesn't automatically get membership), but the fact that any hard borders that are created (Wales and Scotland) will be relatively on their doorsteps rather than conveniently on a different landmass means that they might have to be pragmatic about customs union.

London still has all the money and slightly cheaper houses, so Londoners not much less happy than usual.

The only challenge is Wales. If England goes for a customs union they're still quids in, if not then they might need to appy for EU funding for some major bridge building projects in the Irish Sea, but I'm sure they can deal with that.
 

rogerwebb 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

If all independence supporters were as reasonable as you (and many others on this forum such as Ciro) I would be considerably less concerned. I fear however that as in brexit the fringe will take over the cause and we will find ourselves having to choose up sides in a binary confrontation rather than moving forward in a spirit of cooperation and compromise. 

Ian W 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Only one flaw in this plan. England isn't a member of the EU on its own, the UK is..........

But otherwise I like it, as I live not too far from Scotland

Post edited at 14:58
skog 07 Aug 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Why the SNP didn't support the withdrawal agreement in return for a S30 order, thus recognising the choice of English and Welsh voters and establishing a mechanism for Scottish voters to go a different way in an orderly brexit and independence perplexes me.

The obvious answer, unless you know otherwise, would be that no such deal was available!

A secondary, perfectly good reason (although if the above is right no other reason is needed), could be that they, along with many in other parties, genuinely thought there was a chance to soften Brexit or get a second referendum on it. Nicola Sturgeon may simply have been pushing for what she saw as the best possible outcome (Scotland getting another referendum, with the UK still in the EU or at least the common market).

And to the rest of your post - nah, sorry. The UK is doing pretty much exactly what many of us had feared it would do, lurching to the right and destroying much of its relationship with the EU. There's no reason Scotland leaving it to rejoin the EU or EEA should follow the same pattern, it's quite a different scenario. And most of the UK's Brexit trouble stems, I think, from the way that Brexit wasn't actually defined in advance - a separation with at least an outline definition of what is intended still won't be pain-free, but should avoid a lot of that.

Graeme Alderson 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

Sorry but you need an enclave around Sunderland (my home city). Voted overwhemingly out despite having so much to lose

Swap Sunderland for Sheffield (the city that is my home) then Stanage and bits of Burbage stay in the EU. And we can demonstarte our soveriegnity by refusing to bolt them.

DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> If all independence supporters were as reasonable as you (and many others on this forum such as Ciro) I would be considerably less concerned. 

That's probably because I'm a recent convert and not as invested in it as some.

Have you listened to this year's Reith Lectures by Jonathon Sumption? He makes some excellent points about how referendums lead to binary confrontation and largely rule out compromise and cooperation.

wintertree 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> I don't think he did leave, and I never would - but I know how he felt...

Its not really leaving if the country you lived in has already gone.  

skog 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

> That's probably because I'm a recent convert and not as invested in it as some.

I've noticed that those (such as me), who were very clear about wanting independence even before all this, tend to see it as confirmation that staying in the UK is bad news and we'd be much better having a go running our own country - while those (such as Roger), who were very clearly against separating from the UK, tend to see all this as evidence that separation itself is bad news, and we'd be mad to compound it. Confirmation bias is a funny thing.

Of course the result of another independence referendum, should it happen, will depend much more on the votes of those who don't have such strongly fixed opinions.

Ramblin dave 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Ian W:

> Only one flaw in this plan. England isn't a member of the EU on its own, the UK is..........

That's part of the point, though. England would essentially be voting to leave the EU by leaving the UK, but without dragging the rest of the UK with it and with the consequences in terms of hard borders very much closer to home.

rogerwebb 07 Aug 2019
In reply to skog:

> The obvious answer, unless you know otherwise, would be that no such deal was available!

Or was tried for

> A secondary, perfectly good reason (although if the above is right no other reason is needed), could be that they, along with many in other parties, genuinely thought there was a chance to soften Brexit or get a second referendum on it. Nicola Sturgeon may simply have been pushing for what she saw as the best possible outcome (Scotland getting another referendum, with the UK still in the EU or at least the common market).

Yes but that tactic was clearly failing by the spring and could and should have been reconsidered. 

> And to the rest of your post - nah, sorry. The UK is doing pretty much exactly what many of us had feared it would do, lurching to the right and destroying much of its relationship with the EU. There's no reason Scotland leaving it to rejoin the EU or EEA should follow the same pattern, it's quite a different scenario. And most of the UK's Brexit trouble stems, I think, from the way that Brexit wasn't actually defined in advance - a separation with at least an outline definition of what is intended still won't be pain-free, but should avoid a lot of that.

That sounds very much like a brexiteer telling us it will all be simple.

Where is the outline definition for independence? Certainly not the white paper which was as full of assertion as any brexit proposition. 

It might work well with 90% support, brexit might work with 90% support, neither is a realistic scenario. 

DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to skog:

I know people who have gone all ways on this.

Some who's views on independence are unchanged by brexit, others like me who it's caused to swing towards support for independence and some who it has caused to withdraw support for independence citing (totally understandable) fears of further division and upheaval.

It's complicated!

Post edited at 15:21
rogerwebb 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

Yes, sadly they don't cheer me up! 

HansStuttgart 07 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> Frankly you'd struggle to sell many remainers on the Euro and Shengen!

I know, sadly.

It is one of the core arguments of the "good riddance" strand of thinking in the EU27. Together with lack of support for FoM from the remain leadership.

skog 07 Aug 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Or was tried for

Any evidence it wasn't? May wasn't one for listening, negotiating or compromising, even with her own party, never mind the SNP. I think you're seeing what you want to see, here.

> That sounds very much like a brexiteer telling us it will all be simple.

Does it? Even although I neither said, nor for that matter believe, that it would be simple?

I think Brexit was and is an awful idea, but a lot of the pain could have been avoided by defining at least a chunk of what it meant in advance, so that people couldn't twist it later to mean whatever they wanted and so there was something defined to aim for during negotiations; I think this would also be true of separating Scotland from the UK, or reunifying Ireland for that matter.

rogerwebb 07 Aug 2019
In reply to skog:

I question my position on this a lot and it is not a position I have always held although I have since devolution. 

Confirmation bias or considered opinion, who knows? 

DaveHK 07 Aug 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

>  I fear however that as in brexit the fringe will take over the cause

I know a couple of real independence extremists and prior to the referendum they were mainly what shaped my view of the independence movement. Them and that odious butterball Salmond. Not surprisingly that didn't give me a great impression.

During the run up to the referendum though I spoke to a lot of people (mainly colleagues) who were intelligent, thoughtful and realistic supporters of independence. That really changed my view and I think the SNP has been working hard to distance themselves from the bampots.

Post edited at 15:37
1
skog 07 Aug 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Confirmation bias or considered opinion, who knows? 

Both, I imagine! And it's the same for me.

Robert Durran 07 Aug 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

>  I think the SNP has been working hard to distance themselves from the bampots.

Yes, but they are still out there and just as the ERG has very much shown it's ugly head after the Brexit referendum, I fear they would do so after an independence vote. I think it is a mistake to equate the SNP and Independence; after a vote for independence, the SNP will, to a large extent, have lost their reason for existing and would have to reinvent themselves on a level playing field with parties of all colours. I fear the influence of the extremists.

Quite as lot of English hating extremist stuff seems to come up on my FB feed and some of it is pretty scary.

rogerwebb 07 Aug 2019
In reply to skog:

> Any evidence it wasn't? May wasn't one for listening, negotiating or compromising, even with her own party, never mind the SNP. I think you're seeing what you want to see, here.

If the SNP had offered they would have said. The refusal would only have strengthened their position. 

> Does it? Even although I neither said, nor for that matter believe, that it would be simple?

It does, many a brexiteer would claim the same but be hazy on details. 

> I think Brexit was and is an awful idea, but a lot of the pain could have been avoided by defining at least a chunk of what it meant in advance, so that people couldn't twist it later to mean whatever they wanted and so there was something defined to aim for during negotiations; I think this would also be true of separating Scotland from the UK, or reunifying Ireland for that matter.

I quite agree but so far that definition hasn't happened in brexit or independence. Largely I suspect that both mean such different things to so many different people that any attempt at definition would lead to splintering of support. 

EarlyBird 07 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

Always someone else's fault isn't it, Scott.

1
skog 07 Aug 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> If the SNP had offered they would have said. The refusal would only have strengthened their position. 

I don't think that's necessarily true - it would have run the risk of alienating remainers, and as the SNP's strong remain stance has already alienated quite a lot of Leave-supporting pro-Indy people, that would seem like poor gaming of the situation at the least.

> It does, many a brexiteer would claim the same but be hazy on details. 

Can I ask you to clarify - you're accusing me of being vague about what independence would mean? I don't believe I am or have been; I'd like it if you could back that up so I can see whether you're right and I should rethink, or whether you're just making it up.

> I quite agree but so far that definition hasn't happened in brexit or independence. Largely I suspect that both mean such different things to so many different people that any attempt at definition would lead to splintering of support. 

Last time, the SNP produced a white paper and were pretty clear about the type of independence they wanted to go for (a very 'soft' independence). There was no room for, for example, severing all deals with the rUK - that very clearly wasn't what was being proposed.

So yeah, you can argue with a lot of what was in the white paper, certainly - but please don't pretend they didn't publish it or that it didn't at least show the intended direction! The brexiteers, by contrast, appear to have taken the lesson from this that it was best not to define anything, as anything you write will inevitable contain plenty of things your opponents can attack (which is true, but a pretty horrible technique).

Personally, if we go into another independence referendum without at least a sketch plan of what it means, I'll struggle to support it. But I simply don't recognise what you're saying as being true - quite a bit has been defined about what kind of independence the SNP mean to pursue.

rogerwebb 07 Aug 2019
In reply to skog:

> I don't think that's necessarily true - it would have run the risk of alienating remainers, and as the SNP's strong remain stance has already alienated quite a lot of Leave-supporting pro-Indy people, that would seem like poor gaming of the situation at the least.

I think it would have left them looking like the grown ups in Parliament and would have left the government in an awkward position of gratitude. 

> Can I ask you to clarify - you're accusing me of being vague about what independence would mean? I don't believe I am or have been; I'd like it if you could back that up so I can see whether you're right and I should rethink, or whether you're just making it up.

Don't see it as an accusation. I don't believe you are insincere but neither can you really give detail as to what independence would be like. You state what your preferences would be but I doubt your vision is the same as Brian Souter's. It is a a blank canvas, which is of course a very attractive thing for idealists. I suspect the potential independence negotiations would go very differently with Boris Johnson as prime minister than with David Cameron (who apart from his EU referendum suddenly looks quite good!) 

It was unfair to compare you to a brexiteer as most identify that term with the more extreme leave supporter and you have never been extreme, I do apologise. 

(I have been a bit rushed today, we got flooded last night and with more rain coming I am trying to improve the defences) 

> Last time, the SNP produced a white paper and were pretty clear about the type of independence they wanted to go for (a very 'soft' independence). There was no room for, for example, severing all deals with the rUK - that very clearly wasn't what was being proposed.

What I mean here is that the white paper was full of confident assertion but no more than that. 

The problem being it could never be more than that as they had no more than an informed guess as to what the other sides attitudes would be. Like the brexit people it assumed that the rUK government (which of course at that time did not exist) would see things the same way that they did. Until there are two entities negotiating no one really knows what a final deal would look like. Remember no one except the fanatics went into brexit thinking no deal was a good idea. Now the fanatics call the tune. That the then Scottish government wanted a soft independence is true. That does not mean it would happen that way. 

> So yeah, you can argue with a lot of what was in the white paper, certainly - but please don't pretend they didn't publish it or that it didn't at least show the intended direction! The brexiteers, by contrast, appear to have taken the lesson from this that it was best not to define anything, as anything you write will inevitable contain plenty of things your opponents can attack (which is true, but a pretty horrible technique).

As above 

> Personally, if we go into another independence referendum without at least a sketch plan of what it means, I'll struggle to support it. But I simply don't recognise what you're saying as being true - quite a bit has been defined about what kind of independence the SNP mean to pursue.

The SNP may mean to pursue all sorts of things so did the Conservative party yet they have ended up being led by an extreme minority. It can quite easily happen again. 

Post edited at 18:49
skog 07 Aug 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I think it would have left them looking like the grown ups in Parliament and would have left the government in an awkward position of gratitude. 

I suppose it might have - but I'm not sure that's really worth very much.

> but neither can you really give detail as to what independence would be like. You state what your preferences would be but I doubt your vision is the same as Brian Souter's. It is a a blank canvas

> What I mean here is that the white paper was full of confident assertion but no more than that. 

At the very least, the white paper (and what was being said) set out a direction of travel for independence, a rough set of aims. You're quite right that things inevitably change during a negotiation, but from this starting point there's really no way to argue that it would have given a mandate for anything too extreme. I'm not going to defend the detail of the white paper, I agree parts of it were pie in the sky - but it did very much set out intent and the type of separation that would be aimed for. I don't think there's a fair comparison at all with brexit, where nothing of the sort was produced and they can easily argue that their version was what was meant all along.
 

> Remember no one except the fanatics went into brexit thinking no deal was a good idea. Now the fanatics call the tune. That the then Scottish government wanted a soft independence is true. That does not mean it would happen that way. 

> The SNP may mean to pursue all sorts of things so did the Conservative party yet they have ended up being led by an extreme minority. It can quite easily happen again. 

This is true. It's always true, though, which is why any democratic system needs checks and balances, and why it's important to have some sort of definition of intent before undertaking something major. I'd happily take my chances with the Scottish system and the politicians in it who mostly seem fairly sane, over the British one which is visibly disfunctional and currently headed by what looks increasingly like a proto-fascist bunch of fanatics and idiots.

> It was unfair to compare you to a brexiteer as most identify that term with the more extreme leave supporter and you have never been extreme, I do apologise. 

> (I have been a bit rushed today, we got flooded last night and with more rain coming I am trying to improve the defences) 

OK - no problem! We had a power cut immediately following a large lightning strike, and there was a fair bit of flooding on the road home.

HansStuttgart 07 Aug 2019
In reply to skog:

The problem with Scottish independence is that no matter what the SNP says it wants an independent Scotland to be like, 80% will be determined by Westminster. Just like the meaning of brexit is determined in Brussels.

Post edited at 21:09
TobyA 07 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

Scotland is bigger in population than quite a few EU members already, so size isn't really an issue.

ScottTalbot 08 Aug 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

> Always someone else's fault isn't it, Scott.

What is? 

Lusk 08 Aug 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

Fence sitting undediced/don't knows are obviously on the shooting range now 😆🙃😆🙃

brunoschull 08 Aug 2019

In the Brexit debate, and in the discussion about Trump, one always hears self-righteous cries about "democracy."  For example, people in the UK voted "democratically" to leave the EU, or Trump was elected "democratically."  I think there was very little democratic about the leave vote or the Trump election. The rise of populism is a huge topic, but at least in the most superficial way, Trump won because gerrymandering and district manipulation, because of the electoral college, and because of the clear influence of Russia--entirely apart from whether of not you believe Trump colluded with Russia, its obvious that Russia played a huge role in the election, sewing discord, inflating conflict on all sides, and so forth.  And despite this effort, a majority of Americans voted for Hillary.  There's nothing democratic about the outcome, at least in the fundamental way that most people understand that word.  I believe the same is true for the UK and the leave vote.  As far as I know, the UK does not suffer from a system like the electoral college, but I would not be at all surprised if Russia had a hand in creating and maintaining Brexit controversy.  So I think that anybody who indignantly proclaims the sanctity of the "democratic" decision to leave the EU should ask themselves, "How does it feel to be manipulated by a foreign power?"  The dark irony, of course, is that the US and the UK have meddled in the affairs of foreign countries for centuries, with much greater consequences. 

1
Pefa 08 Aug 2019
In reply to brunoschull:

You say Russia so apart from a few Russians paying £4000 for some facebook ads where is this evidence that Russia changed the entire result of the US election?

The Democrats nonsense about Russian "meddling" is as desperate a diversionary tactic as Trump blaming video games for the white supremacist El Paso massacre. 

Post edited at 23:17
9
brunoschull 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

You will most likely dismiss this as fake news propagated by social justice warrior snowflakes with trump derangement syndrome, but just to get a general idea of Russian interference in the US and the UK Wikipedia is not a bad start:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_Brexit_referendum

That said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the US and the UK are not behind a great deal of the unrest in Hong Kong right now, for example.

Chaos and disorder for one's rivals are always advantageous.

I don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist, but you'd have to be exceedingly naive or willfully ignorant not to acknowledge that this is how governments operate.

Post edited at 06:25
jkarran 09 Aug 2019
In reply to brunoschull:

> That said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the US and the UK are not behind a great deal of the unrest in Hong Kong right now, for example.

> Chaos and disorder for one's rivals are always advantageous.

Not always. A full blown revolt against Beijing escalating to civil war in China will burn the world to the ground, certainly economically then quite likely literally. 

> I don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist, but you'd have to be exceedingly naive or willfully ignorant not to acknowledge that this is how governments operate.

The chaos of brexit is clearly acting in the interests of other nations including those with long histories of overseas meddling, Russia (chipping at EU unity, reducing European security cooperation capability) and the US (considering Trump's isolationism the US toehold in Europe may be willingly traded for economic dominance of the UK and a weakened EU) clearly among them. It would be surprising if there wasn't some ongoing influence to keep the divisions we've exposed in our society open and widening, brexit/brexit-paralysis being a consequence. Do we need to invoke malign foreign powers to explain how this mess got started? I don't think so, we very much did this ourselves with our exceptionalism, island mentality and our eager acceptance of foreign scapegoats whenever the reality of our place in the world failed to measure up to our beliefs.

jk

Post edited at 09:50
brunoschull 09 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Thanks for your reply--I completely agree.  My intended point was not so much, "Russia caused Brexit" but rather, "Russia exploited existing divisions and influenced the outcome." 

The whole discussion of how this wave of populism started is interesting (allowing for various differences, I view Trump, Brexit, Erdogan, right wing leaders in Hungary and Italy, the rise of nationalist parties in Germany and Scandanavia, and so on, as part of the same phenomenon).

I read an interesting article that explained these changes as a failure of modern capitalism.  That is, the neo-liberal free-market ideology promoted by politicians like Thatcher and Reagan, instead of leading to greater prosperity and quality of life for the majority of people, have lead to, "wage stagnation, ever more workers in poverty, ever more inequality, banking crises, the convulsions of populism and the impending climate catastrophe."  And that, I would say, has lead to phenomena like Trump and Brexit.  I think the forces you mention are also very important factors. 

As to how China will handle Hong Kong, and the consequences of different scenarios, really, I don't know enough about it to have an informed opinion.  I can't imagine that there will not be some clear response from China, but I would like to think that China will not be willing to let something like Tiananmen square happen again.

But to return to my original point, it irks me when people defending Brexit or Trump proclaim with great sanctity the "democratic process" and the "will of the people."  That's a very superficially moralistic and disingenuous argument.  I think it's far more complicated.

johang 09 Aug 2019
In reply to wercat:

> So, can we set the boundary from the Lune across to the Tees?

Or recreate "Northumberland"? -- literally everything north of the Humber.

I only say this because I don't want Lancaster (south bank of the Lune) to be cut off from the north

The Ribble to the Humber sound good?

wercat 09 Aug 2019
In reply to johang:

Definitely!  And we can spread Feare of Draggones and Trolles to scare the Southern Folke away

Pefa 09 Aug 2019
brunoschull 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

I guess you would prefer you information from a reliable source like Fox news?

Like I said, "You'd have to be exceedingly naive or willfully ignorant...

Post edited at 21:22
Martin Hore 09 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The remainers in parliament had a very good option which was to vote the withdrawal agreement. 

> Voting that agreement would have guaranteed the exclusion of no-deal, whilst preserving optionality further down the line.

> Instead they pushed us inevitably to no-deal, whilst not having the balls to revoke or go for a second ref.

Sorry, but you need to recognise there are two kinds of remainers in parliament. MPs who voted Remain in 2016 are in the majority. MPs who believe they should now not honour the 2016 result (by revoking) or put the question again in a second referendum are not in the majority. It doesn't matter how big your balls are, in a democracy you also need a majority to prevail.

A major block is Corbyn - now, as I understand it, refusing to countenance a unity government led by anyone but himself. What arrogance!

Martin

1
RomTheBear 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin Hore:

> Sorry, but you need to recognise there are two kinds of remainers in parliament. MPs who voted Remain in 2016 are in the majority. MPs who believe they should now not honour the 2016 result (by revoking) or put the question again in a second referendum are not in the majority. It doesn't matter how big your balls are, in a democracy you also need a majority to prevail.

There is one kind of remainers MP:

The deluded, complacent kind who didn’t recognise the risk of no deal.

11
Rob Exile Ward 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin Hore:

How come we have ended up with 2 of the worst PMs in history at the same time as the worst leader of the opposition - probably ever?

If Jeffrey Archer had used that as a storyline 20 years ago even his most devoted fans would have been muttering, 'Oh come on now Jeffrey, you've gone too far.. '

wercat 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

and some of the worst MPs too?

summo 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Martin Hore:

I wouldn't worry about Corbyn, his motivation for the day probably peaks shortly after breakfast. McDonnell though, same ideals if not a little harsher but actually motivated, promising many more free lunches and potentially far more damaging. 

4
jkarran 10 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The deluded, complacent kind who didn’t recognise the risk of no deal.

No deal still almost certainly ends in us agreeing terms with the EU and fairly promptly. What we get will likely based on May's WA because it exists and makes sense (in a brexit context), we just get a chastening and costly lesson first. It's the hardliners on the brexit side being naive about the strength of their negotiating position in the chaotic aftermath. Some obviously don't care, they're just doing the bidding of the vultures behind them but most are in for a very rude awakening when the country stumbles to its knees then the press and public turn on them. 

Jk

DaveHK 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> How come we have ended up with 2 of the worst PMs in history at the same time as the worst leader of the opposition - probably ever?

May may have been ok* in a regular term without the Brexit shitshow to deal with. I'm not sure any of the previous incumbents would have done much better dealt that hand.

I'm no fan of Boris either but it's definitely too early to judge his premiership. Unless you mean Cameron as the second whose colossal error of judgement and arrogance got us into this mess?

*By ok I mean 'no worse than any other Tory pm'.

Post edited at 13:27
Eric9Points 10 Aug 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> We have become a mean spirited, shitty little nation of f*cking idiots.


I think it's more nuanced than that. I think it has become acceptable to be a mean spirited phuqing idiot. A bit like the "greed is good" philosophy of the yuppy era.

john arran 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I think it's more nuanced than that. I think it has become acceptable to be a mean spirited phuqing idiot. A bit like the "greed is good" philosophy of the yuppy era.

I agree. The personification of that philosophy in the yuppy era was Loadsamoney, whereas the modern version seems to be Tommeh. Unfortunately this time it's neither satire nor funny.

Andy Hardy 10 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> . Some obviously don't care, they're just doing the bidding of the vultures behind them but most are in for a very rude awakening when the country stumbles to its knees then the press and public turn on them. 

> Jk

I can't see the press doing anything other than finding new scapegoats. "Remoaners" and "traitors" as well as immigrants will be firmly in their sights. Obviously those bar stewards in Brussels will be to blame for not giving us a cake we can keep and eat, or any unicorns.

elsewhere 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

It's funny how taking back control does not also include taking back responsibility.

Bob Hughes 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

I’ve been reading this morning that David Frost was asked by EU “if we got rid of the backstop, would the HoC vote for the deal?”

his answer was “no”

seems like the government also objects to the level playing field provisions in the withdrawal agreement.

this means:

we are headed for no deal

government is either planning low-regulation Singapore-on-Thames economy or state aid to bail out impacted industries. Or a combination of the two.

RomTheBear 10 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> No deal still almost certainly ends in us agreeing terms with the EU and fairly promptly.

And here we go. More delusion and complacency.

No wonder the moderates are losing. They can’t fathom they idea that their little cushy world is crumbling. Despite the fact that this happening right in front of their face.

> What we get will likely based on May's WA because it exists and makes sense (in a brexit context), we just get a chastening and costly lesson first. It's the hardliners on the brexit side being naive about the strength of their negotiating position in the chaotic aftermath.

If they are so naive, why have they systematically outsmarted the moderates ?

This is, broad brush, what would happens after no-deal: everything would be framed as the fault of evil Europeans, and of course the tabloid press will be going along. Government becomes hyper powerful thanks to the EU withdrawal bill. You disagree with it ? Tough. You’re now a traitor and an enemy of the state.

kevin stephens 10 Aug 2019

I see the following scenario; panned as being silly a year ago but updated now seems very likely:

Boris loses Vote of no confidence when Parliament resumes

Boris agrees to general election but after 31 October

Brexit happens on 31 October with no deal

Country descends into chaos during a GE campaign

Labour reinforces commitment to a peoples vote / second referndum

Boris does not win a majority - hung parliament with Labour and Libdem

Second referendum occurs soon after

After the previous Brexit supporters see the chaos enough of them will change their mind and Remain wins

The EU bend their rules to readmit UK on previous terms to re-admit the prodigal son, indeed recognising the above scenario they will take a hard line to reinforce the Brexit pain.

Corbyn and Boris replaced as party leaders

Rasputin emigrates to the USA

Post edited at 16:15
1
Robert Durran 10 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

I now think that is Boris' plan - to scandously force through no deal between losing a confidence vote (lost because of his plan to force through no deal....... )  I tand nfortunatelya general election. I think there is then the appalling prospect that he could win an election having brought the Faragists back into the Tory fold. Scottish independence then follows inevitably for better or worse. 

We are undoubtedly heading for a titanic constitutional battle between the government and parliament after the confidence vote is lost.

Your point about the EU possibly allowing us to "change our minds" after being dragged out by a government which has lost the confidence of parliament is interesting. 

Post edited at 16:48
Bob Hughes 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Your point about the EU possibly allowing us to "change our minds" after being dragged out by a government which has lost the confidence of parliament is interesting. 

Interesting but I don’t find it very convincing. At least I doubt it would be straightforward.

jkarran 10 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> And here we go. More delusion and complacency.

> No wonder the moderates are losing. They can’t fathom they idea that their little cushy world is crumbling. Despite the fact that this happening right in front of their face.

My point is that everything is crumbling, not that it won't. Will the Conservative party start a civil war to keep its donors? I think it might. So how long will Army discepline hold when they're ordered to fire on their own kin?

This will now have to be settled by compromise or by force. Force is maybe possible but the less likely choice. 

> If they are so naive, why have they systematically outsmarted the moderates ?

Have they though. Sure the disaster capitalists have won, they have their disaster. The nationalists along for the ride have destroyed their nation, they've been outsmarted as completely as you and I. 

> This is, broad brush, what would happens after no-deal: everything would be framed as the fault of evil Europeans, and of course the tabloid press will be going along. Government becomes hyper powerful thanks to the EU withdrawal bill. You disagree with it ? Tough. You’re now a traitor and an enemy of the state.

Yes. How long can that last? Its bad but not a stable end point. 

Jk

Post edited at 23:02
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