/ 'An unprecedented power grab'

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Sep 2017

So the government intends to change parliamentary conventions and take control of key standing committees, which their electoral performance would not entitle them to. An 'unprecedented power grab', according to Corbyn.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/sep/08/conservative-plan-to-change-makeup-of-commons-commi...

Reason being so they can get brexit through without inconvenient input from other parties. Once precedent set, hard to see it being put back in the box though.

But Downing Street said the plan was intended to reduce “disruption”

This sort of thing always is, isn't it?
Post edited at 12:40
2
Shani - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

It is a shocking loss of democracy. People should be angry about this, whatever your persuasion on Brexit.
5
deepsoup - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> ... inconvenient input from other parties.

Also sometimes known as "democracy".
2
DerwentDiluted - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Its an important step in making sure all goes well. It will enable the smooth process of government. It should prehaps be called 'The Enabling Act' to make sure everyone knows that it is there to help enable Brexit. If only there was a template from the past to look at...

Oh wait

There is...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act_of_1933?wprov=sfla1
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Timmd on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

> Also sometimes known as "democracy".

Which doesn't negate the effects on democracy the changes being made could have.
3
wercat on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to Shani:

it's a dismantling of part of the "checks and balances" needed to prevent tyranny
4
wercat on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

add to that the removal of any outside legal and political defences for the UK subjectorate by the government "taking back control from those trans-national defences and the government can do as they like - they're just taking control
2
Bob Kemp - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

You could add to this the adoption of so-called 'Henry VIII powers' to minimise scrutiny of the Repeal Bill too:
"Dominic Grieve, a former attorney general, called the bill, which transposes EU law on to the UK statute book, an “astonishing monstrosity”, because of the breadth of the executive powers it would hand to ministers during the Brexit process." (Guardian).
2
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

is there anyone willing to speak up in defense of this?

though is does strike me as defending the indefensible. Looks like Brexit is likely to irreparably damage not only our economic status, but also our governance.
2
wercat on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
if we are hang dog enough to let the charlatans, Brexiteers and takers of suffrage to get away with it! After all, some other generation later on can put right what we are letting the current political class as driven by poxy demagogues get away with.
Post edited at 17:08
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George Ormerod - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Seem's the 'taking back control' bit is going well.....
1
john arran - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> is there anyone willing to speak up in defense of this?

There's a couple of dislikers who presumably support it but aren't making any attempt to put up an argument for it. Is this a blatant example of unthinking tribal support?
4
wercat on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to George Ormerod:
Taking it back after Ctrl-Alt-Right is a bit late!


I always preferred Ctrl-C
Post edited at 17:23
baron - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
I sort of read the link but couldn't see how this move is linked to Brexit.
(I stand ready to be enlightened).
What are the chances of it actually happening?
Democracy isn't dead yet.
9
Tyler - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I sort of read the link but couldn't see how this move is linked to Brexit.
Brexit it is being used as justification

> (I stand ready to be enlightened).
I fear we'll be kept waiting.

> What are the chances of it actually happening?
Well the govt have paid the DUP a lot of money to ensure it does.

> Democracy isn't dead yet.
Far from it but doesn't mean we houldnt be watchful.

2
baron - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to Tyler:
Sorry, I've just reread the linked article and can't see where the government is using Brexit as a reason.
I can't be bothered to google it but if the reason is to allow the government to place EU law within a U.K. framework while preventing politicians from meddling unnecessarily, then I'm OK with that.
19
DerwentDiluted - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

'Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few'
Wendell Phillips.


1
Shani - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to john arran:

> There's a couple of dislikers who presumably support it but aren't making any attempt to put up an argument for it. Is this a blatant example of unthinking tribal support?

They're undoubtedly Brexiteers and they're now being fooled a second time.

What do they say? "Fool me once...".
4
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Sorry, I've just reread the linked article and can't see where the government is using Brexit as a reason.

Well they're hardly likely to say 'we don't think we can get our brexit legislation through committee stages without resorting to overturning hundreds of years of parliamentary precedent' are they?

> I can't be bothered to google it but if the reason is to allow the government to place EU law within a U.K. framework while preventing politicians from meddling unnecessarily, then I'm OK with that.

You are aware that the government are politicians too, aren't you?

And that the reason people are so concerned is that they are, rightly I think, concerned that the government isn't just going to place EU law in a U.K. Framework, but that it is going to meddle with it unnecessarily?

And that once the lot you agree with do this, i.e. stuff committees with more of their supporters than the election result entitled them to, then in future the other lot will do the same and force through stuff you object to?

And that restoring the sovereignty of parliament, and the link between voters and their legislature, supposedly one of the central reasons for brexit, will have been betrayed?
1
baron - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
I am aware of these things.
However, if, for a short and well defined, period of time there needs to be these changes then that's fine by me.
21
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

Well, that's the point though. Your faith that this will be for 'a short and well defined period of time' is touching

Once it's established that in a tight spot, a government without a mandate to have a majority in committees can just stuff them with enough supporters to get their programme through without challenge, then why do you think any government in future will restrain themselves from doing the same?

baron - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
I'm presuming that this will be voted on by MPs and won't pass if they think it will be abused.
Any government that thinks it can get away with abusing the power given to it won't be in government for long.
Unless you're a conspiracy theorist.
13
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
Not if enough people agree with you, that the end justifies the means, and don't see this as abuse of power. And when both main parties do this- and why wouldn't labour, once the precedent is set?- then voting out 'the party that is abusing power' doesn't have any meaning.

All that happens is a reinforcement of tribalism, increased distrust and rancour directed at the 'other side', reduced scrutiny and review of legislation, undermining of the role of parliament, bypassing one of the checks and balances of our system, and concentration of power in the executive - which in our system is entirely dependent on the patronage of one person, the prime minister.

And once this line is crossed- and it's established that a government can change our constitution to give itself an easier ride- then future governments will be enabled to do more of the same. This will include ones who want to do things you don't like.

I think this sounds like a bad road to start going down, and I'd still think that whatever my view of brexit.
Post edited at 22:50
baron - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
While I agree with everything you say I do wonder how much 'meddling ' in order to stall Brexit will take place if the present system stays the same.
Under normal circumstances it wouldn't matter if the process of passing legislation was a bit slow but time is one thing the UK doesn't have.
I suppose one could say that democracy is more important than anything else and no matter what the consequences its preservation must always be the number one priority.
4
Shani - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Well, that's the point though. Your faith that this will be for 'a short and well defined period of time' is touching

That is the problem. Power is meth to the politicians, just as snooping is meth to the security services. Both groups overlap and the problems arise when surveillance technology and legal powers (created for law enforcement and public order, OBVIOUSLY), are turned towards protestors, activists, and the public - something that can be done easily.
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
I don't think any party dare risk being so obstructive as to completely block brexit- but what might happen is that the government can't get through exactly the brexit they want.

But given the outcome of the election, nor should they be able to. The electorate returned a hung parliament, and the brexit process should reflect this, with the incorporation of views from opposition parties.

If the tories push this through, with their expensively purchased DUP support, and bypass parliamentary scrutiny to enforce a hard brexit, then the consequences for both future conduct of democracy and the ability of the public to accept the brexit outcome will be as negative and serious as reneging on the referendum result would be.
Post edited at 23:10
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baron - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
While I'm all for the democratic and parliamentary processes I fear that instead of a compromise that might usually result from all parties involvement there will simply be a muddle.
Especially as both main parties seem unable to agree with themselves let alone each other.
10
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
Yes, it's a risk. And not a small one.

But that's the reality of the situation. We are where we are, and there is no straightforward way to proceed that isn't fraught with risk and doesn't lead to a likely deepening of divisions.

The whole thing has been a catalogue of catastrophic misjudgements by a succession of prime ministers.

Cameron's offer of the referendum he thought he'd win as a tactic to placate the right wing of the Tory party and outflank UKIP

May's election to strengthen her hand, which instead destroyed her authority and left her as a zombie prime minister

The deal with the DUP, a few votes they would have had anyway, bought at the price of risking the whole N Ireland peace process

And now a plan to usurp parliamentary process to try to bypass the problems she created for herself by the botched election

The whole thing has been one error of judgement after another, and each compounding the previous.

Has anything wreaked such damage to our nation in recent years as these two and their catastrophically bad judgement?
Post edited at 23:39
1
baron - on 08 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

That's a fair summary of recent events and a good judgment on the failings of the two prime ministers in question.
Trevers - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Sorry, I've just reread the linked article and can't see where the government is using Brexit as a reason.

> I can't be bothered to google it but if the reason is to allow the government to place EU law within a U.K. framework while preventing politicians from meddling unnecessarily, then I'm OK with that.

"meddling unnecessarily" seems to me like "due scrutiny".

This is the bill that allows ministers to bypass Parliament to make changes to law more or less as they see fit. Regardless of whether or not you support the Tories or Brexit, you ought to find this disturbing.

Stacking the committees would allow this bill to pass with less scrutiny and amendment.
1
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:
The plan, as I understand it, is to take all of the EU law which is applicable to the UK and to incorporate it into UK law, with changes where there is no equivalent UK organisation to oversee such law.
This is obviously a mammoth amount of legislation which if subject to a line by line scrutiny would take forever.
As these laws already apply to the UK there is no need for immediate scrutiny as any unwanted laws can be changed, with the consent of parliament, at a later date.
If the government is asking to change parliamentary procedure in order to facilitate this process then I am happy with it.
If the proposed changes are to be permanent and applied to all future legislation then it is unacceptable.
7
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
But, Baron, what appear to be saying is, "I'm happy with this particular piece of political expediency, which subverts constitutional process and takes power from the elected representatives of the country, because it's being done to achieve an end I approve of. But I don't want it to happen in future, because that could be people using it to do things I don't like."

In short, cheating is ok, as long as it's my side doing it.

Well, it doesn't work like that. Once it's been done once, then a precedent is set, and others will do it again in the future. They'll say they won't, but in a tight spot, when they can't get what they want done any other way, they'll do it. You may not agree that the situation is comparable, but it won't stop them.

So endorse it if you will; but don't kid yourself that it's a one-off, and politicians will all play nicely in future. They're politicians. If the choice is changing the rules in their favour and claiming its fine because the other lot did it before, or their own skins, then they will change the rules.

We don't have a written constitution here, only convention and precedent. That's why it's so important that incumbents observe the rules; because there's less to stop them changing them in their favour than there is elsewhere. And once parties start doing this when they feel stuck, then there is nothing to stop them doing it again, and again- in fact once the genie is out, it's positively incentivised.

Your route leads us to all the problems I set out at 22:48 last night, and you said you entirely agreed with me then. What's changed your mind? To me, it looks a pretty unpleasant direction for us to take as a country, and risks pouring yet more poison into the open wound that is brexit.

No one made May call the general election; it was her choice to do so. The electorate gave her a bed at that election, and now we expect her to lie in it. If that means she can't get her own vision of Brexit through, then tough titties. Given how appalling her judgement has been shown to be, we should all be grateful for this.

No party is stupid enough to derail brexit completely, as the consequences for them would be apocalyptic; that's just red herrings from conservative central office. She should be accepting that there is no majority for the hard Brexit she appears to want, based on the positions taken by the parties at the election and the share of the votes cast. She should be looking for compromise to produce a version of Brexit that the most people in the country can coalesce around. If she breaks with precedent and stuffs committees with tories to force through her version of Brexit, then the consequences for the future of this country are going to be extremely damaging.
Post edited at 18:31
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Trevers - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
Recently some Tory rebel, possibly a lord, said something along the lines of "the case will always be made that the changes brought about using these powers are absolutely necessary at the time".

It reminds me of the words of Palpatine in Star Wars Episode II (crappy film I know, but some of the plotlines from the early films are quite interesting):
"It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love democracy. I love the Republic. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me!"

These Henry VIII powers would be dangerous in normal times. But these aren't normal times and they are doubly dangerous now. With Brexit likely to cause economic devastation, a desperately weak government and a national course being plotted to appease a handful of rich, influential, hard-right figures, who knows who might end up inheriting such powers and what situations may justify their use?
Post edited at 19:28
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MG - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Superbly put.

The grotesque irony here is that brexiteers have been railing against this body of law for decades but all of a sudden find it so uncontroversial that it doesn't need a glance.
1
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I would prefer that, imperfect as it is, the present parliamentary system stayed the same.
I do agree, as I did last night, that all the problems that you think might arise are possible if not likely.
However, and you knew there was going to be a however, given the amount of legislation that needs to be incorporated into UK law I feel that this is a necessary evil. The idea isn't to achieve an end that I approve of but an end that I think is legally necessary?
As far as I understand it's not introducing Tory policies or laws but already existing legislation.
Doesn't make it right and it needs to be very carefully monitored but what else do we do?
There is no way the present system will cope even if all MPs did their best to make it work. Which they won't.
Where does that leave us?
If the change is limited to purely existing EU legislation and is given a definite time to run e.g. the actual date of Brexit, would that not limit the possibility of abuse of power?
All this is not helped by the fact that there can't be a compromise on Brexit.
The EUs stance on their four freedoms isn't going to change.
No government dare to challenge the will of the people.
A new referendum might as easily return a larger leave vote as a remain one.
Yes it's a mess of the politicians making and I'm not convinced that the current crop of people in government and opposition have the wherewithal to sort it.
7
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:
Do you really think that Brexit is the result of a few rich people?
3
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:
It's just easier to incorporate it all in one go and then bin the bits we don't want.
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

I think we can agree on that last point. I don't see how this circle can be squared and a workable solution found. And the problem of finding one could scarcely have fallen to a less able cohort of politicians.
1
Lusk - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Do you really think that Brexit is the result of a few rich people?

Yes, and all the rest of the shit we're rapidly descending into.
F*cking Torys would sell their own mothers to get into and stay in power. Completely morally bankrupt.

I hate them!
4
machine on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I cant stand the Tories. All they want to do is line their own pockets, look after their mates and bollocks to the rest of us. As a nation we have sleep walked right into their hands. I blame the TV debate when G.B was top dog, that was the beginning of the end.
2
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

And while the clock ticks politicians continue to talk of soft and hard Brexit as if they are choices.
At the risk of sounding like a certain Prime Minister 'Brexit means Brexit'.
We can't pick and choose because the EU won't let us. Why should they?
And so after all the negotiations and possibly a deal the chances are that MPs, most of whom didn't want to leave, will reject said deal and leave the UK where?

2
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to Lusk:

Do you always sit on the fence?
2
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to machine:

If that's what they wanted we'd be staying in the EU.
2
MG - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
It's called demagogory - democracy subverted by populist, powerful ruthless zealots.
2
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:
It's the will of the people.
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MG - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> It's the will of the people.

Ffs
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baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:

Sorry, it's all I had.
2
wbo - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs: or rather baron: i share the dislike, distrust this procedural trick/sidestep. Once these things have been done once they invariably are done again.

In this case, the option to change UK legislation without oversight or right of complaint is too much. Of course it is 'only' to transcribe EU law to UK with it explicitly stated the law would be adjusted where it better fits the special circumstances of the U.K. umph. Not very good.

Or look at it this way. If the Tories perform as dismally for the next few years as they are now the next person with those powers, to change law without oversight, might be a scruffy old gentleman with a beard



wercat on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

"I think we can agree on that last point. I don't see how this circle can be squared and a workable solution found. And the problem of finding one could scarcely have fallen to a less able cohort of politicians."

I rather think use of the word cohort here is implying a degree of organisation as found in the legions of Rome ...
1
RomTheBear on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
> As far as I understand it's not introducing Tory policies or laws but already existing legislation.

No, it's theoretically about integrating EU law into UK law. But it can be used for anything really.
In the process of doing so, many changes and choices will have to be made. And with the withdrawal bill as it is, 40 years of EU law will be revamped with little or no scrutiny, by a minority government, impacting pretty much every policy area conceivable. That includes critical areas such as individual rights.
The conservatives minority government have an opportunity to reshape the country as they see fit with a blank cheque.
Once this is done, this will be too late or to difficult to undo.

> Doesn't make it right and it needs to be very carefully monitored but what else do we do?

Nothing can be done. There is no way to Brexit within this timeframe without an unprecedented and massive transfer of powers to the executive.

This was entirely predictable, but the brexiteers did not listen.
Post edited at 22:35
baron - on 09 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
If it's easy for this government to alter legislation why would it be difficult for a later government to change it?
I would like to see some positive suggestions as to what the government should do as without the passing of EU law into UK law what will happen?
Stating that the vote should have been to remain doesn't count.

Suggesting that all this was predictable is fine and if mentioned it might have been useful in the referendum debate.
Not much use now except to try and score points.
4
wbo - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron: because once something's in law it becomes much harder to get it out -- removing a bad law requires time and effort, and is usually fixed with some bodged amendment, so making the volume of law grow and become ever more complex. Plus once it's in it gets used and sets precedent.

I don't have a positive suggestion - perhaps, from a continental point of view you should have thought of this and should get on with it a bit faster and more seriously

baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to wbo:
Except it's the continentals who are stalling, as in, can't talk trade till divorce bill settled, must guarantee EU citizens rights anf let ECJ have control, sort out Irish border.
All designed to slow the process down.
4
RomTheBear on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> If it's easy for this government to alter legislation why would it be difficult for a later government to change it?

For the same reason that a massive transfer is needed to changes these laws, the usual parliamentary process is too slow.

Besides, changing laws does not magically erase the past. An eu citizen getting deported or a business closing down because of a badly drafted rule passed as secondary legislation with no proper review scrutiny will still be f*cked, even if the rule is changed ten years later.

> I would like to see some positive suggestions as to what the government should do as without the passing of EU law into UK law what will happen?

The process should be driven by parliament - not the government, possibly with cross party committees.

> Stating that the vote should have been to remain doesn't count.


> Suggesting that all this was predictable is fine and if mentioned it might have been useful in the referendum debate.

It was mentioned and completely obvious anyway.



1
RomTheBear on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Except it's the continentals who are stalling, as in, can't talk trade till divorce bill settled, must guarantee EU citizens rights anf let ECJ have control, sort out Irish border.

> All designed to slow the process down.

No, it's designed to protect their interests. And why wouldn't they ?

2
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

I think it's in the EU's interest to have a trade deal with the UK (and vice versa) but they don't seem to be so keen to get on with that.
Bob Hughes - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I would like to see some positive suggestions as to what the government should do as without the passing of EU law into UK law what will happen?

Passing EU law into UK law is the only logical approach and nobody is disputing that. The problem is hiw to amend EU law so that it makes sense in the context of post-Brexit britain. The easiest bits are where it is simply a case of removing a reference to EU law and replacing it with reference to the relevant UK law. There are thornier bits like, for example, references to the ECJ whose role is still not clear, or references to an EU regulator where a British equivalent will need to be created. The problem is that the government is trying to rush this through before March 2019.

So that's the problem statement. The government has chosen to solve it by giving ministers power to change any law which references EU law, without the involvement of parliament.

The alternative is to recognise the size and complexity of leaving the EU - which the government still refuses to do - and do two things:

1. Slow down the transition out of the EU. If, instead of trying to rush out of the EU by March 2019, we gave ourselves until 2021 Parliament would have more time to give the necessary oversight of the thorniest changes.

2. Set-up a cross-party oversight committee to pre-scrutinise any proposed changes, allowing packages of straight-forward changes to pass through parliament quickly.

baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Two positive suggestions which could work if the EU allows the Brexit date to be extended and politicians, of all parties, don't use the procedures to slow the Brexit process down.
Ian W - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Have I got this all wrong? This thread seems to be objecting to the bill to overwrite UK law with EU law as part of brexit, which I though would please the remainers (at the point of brexit, our laws would be th esame as the EU). I thought the problem was that the government wanted to grab executive powers to change those EU laws to something they preferred AFTER brexit, and this is the Henry VIII thing (this is from watching Keir Starmer last sunday on Andrew marr, and then destroy David Davies in parliament earlier this week)- the Tories could change our laws without even debating them in parliament. So which is it? THe acceptance of EU law, or the ability to change without parliamentary debate?
Bob Hughes - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Two positive suggestions which could work if the EU allows the Brexit date to be extended and politicians, of all parties, don't use the procedures to slow the Brexit process down.

Not to mention the Tory headbangers (and Nigel Farage) who see any suggestion of taking our time to do a proper job as backsliding.

Slowing the Brexit process down is exactly what we should be doing. The "risk" from the Brexiteers perspective is reversing the process. What they don't recognise is that the more the government ignores realities, bats aside consitutional concerns and pushes ahead regardless, the stronger the hand of those saying that Brexit will be a disaster that should be avoided.
2
Sir Chasm - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Two positive suggestions which could work if the EU allows the Brexit date to be extended and politicians, of all parties, don't use the procedures to slow the Brexit process down.

So you want to stay in the eu for longer and you want to leave faster?
2
MG - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> THe acceptance of EU law, or the ability to change without parliamentary debate?

It's both the acceptance of EU law without scrutiny, which will inevitably lead to unforeseen problems and consequences, and the precedent being set of the government trying to pass laws without scrutiny.
Bob Hughes - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Have I got this all wrong? This thread seems to be objecting to the bill to overwrite UK law with EU law as part of brexit, which I though would please the remainers (at the point of brexit, our laws would be th esame as the EU). I thought the problem was that the government wanted to grab executive powers to change those EU laws to something they preferred AFTER brexit, and this is the Henry VIII thing (this is from watching Keir Starmer last sunday on Andrew marr, and then destroy David Davies in parliament earlier this week)- the Tories could change our laws without even debating them in parliament. So which is it? THe acceptance of EU law, or the ability to change without parliamentary debate?

The problem is you can't just cut and paste EU law into UK law because it is full of references to other EU laws, EU regulators and the ECJ. So EU law will need to be modified on its way into UK law. The government wants to make these changes without parliamentary scrutiny. This is what people are objecting to because in the short term there is nothing stopping the government from making substantrive changes to a law while at the same time replacing "ECJ" with "Supreme Court" and in the longer term it sets a precedent for cutting Parliament out of the legislative process.
paulcarey - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

So why doesn't the Uk not ask for an extension now until 2021? During that time it also stays part of the EEA. This allows time for both proper scrutiny of legislation and prevents any possible economic cliff edge in March 2019 so giving businesses more stability.

The 'rush' to achieve Brexit is actually the biggest danger to Brexit being made a success.
elsewhere on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Two positive suggestions which could work if the EU allows the Brexit date to be extended and politicians, of all parties, don't use the procedures to slow the Brexit process down.

Both of those require Theresa May etc to generate goodwill.
So far they've done the opposite.
1
Doug on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Except it's the continentals who are stalling, as in, can't talk trade till divorce bill settled, must guarantee EU citizens rights anf let ECJ have control, sort out Irish border.

Proposed by the EU & agreed to very quickly by the UK delegation, during the first day or so of negotiations if I remember correctly

elsewhere on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to paulcarey:

> So why doesn't the Uk not ask for an extension now until 2021? During that time it also stays part of the EEA. This allows time for both proper scrutiny of legislation and prevents any possible economic cliff edge in March 2019 so giving businesses more stability.

> The 'rush' to achieve Brexit is actually the biggest danger to Brexit being made a success.

All good reasons for eu not to give up a strong negotiating position unless they get something in return.
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I want to leave now, right now, not this evening but now.
Because this is a ludicrous suggestion there needs to be a compromise.
If it takes longer than two years to leave then so be it as long as there are genuine reasons for the delay and not, as is happening now, politicians from all sides trying to delay the process.
1
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Doug:

Or we could have spent months arguing over what to argue about first.
Ian W - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Ah, got it. (Thanks MG as well). So canning the influence of the ECJ whilst adopting laws subject to the ECJ shows this really hasnt been thought through......


no_more_scotch_eggs - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Ian W:
The thread was triggered by the story I link in my OP- not directly related to Henry VIII powers, but instead to the suggestion Tories will break with tradition in the composition of standing committees that review proposed legislation as it passes through parliament . These by long established precedent are composed along the same proportions as the commons, so they should be balanced with no Tory majority, as they didn't get one. The Tories appear to be indicating they plan to break with this and establish Tory majorities in key committees, clearly to smooth passage of Brexit legislation.

This is clearly unacceptable- these committees are one of the key places where parliament fulfills its role of holding the executive to account. If the executive can rig the committees in their favour, then in a whipped system such as ours (there's no formal whipping in committees of course, but there are ways of putting pressure) the ability of parliament to serve as a check and balance is undermined and the government gets a free hand to do as it pleases.

My point is, that may suit brexiteers now; but once this rubicon has been crossed, then its licence to any future government to do the same, in whatever tight spot its finds itself in. So it's a further power grab by the executive, and power weilded without effective scrutiny rarely ends well.

And, the footsteps Tories are following in, by changing the rules to give themselves power that the electorate did not give them, are particularly inauspicious. As to the claim it's necessary to 'avoid disruption'- well, people doing this sort of thing always claim that, don't they?
Post edited at 12:55
1
wbo - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron, elsewhere; i think some of this can be explained by one difference: the EU would like a deal, but wants what it perceives as the right deal. If theres no deal ITS not the end of the world.
To a greater degree the UK needs a deal, and a bodge is better than nothing.

The ideas of extensions , temp agreements is a non starter unless, i suspect , for the EU to be interested, it's a continuation of the status quo with updated money (the UK has lost its rebate) The EU are not interested in a temporary bodge as what happens in the transition period will set a precedent and become harder to change later.

Rather like what is being discussed in this thread
2
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to wbo:

The UK has been backed into, or has backed itself into, a situation where there seems to be only one outcome.
Without more time being given to sort out this mess, which seems unlikely, then more and more dramatic, drastic and undesirable measures, such as the one being discussed on this thread, might be introduced.
1
john arran - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> The UK has been backed into, or has backed itself into, a situation where there seems to be only one outcome.

... which is all well and good as long as, at the end of this process, that outcome is decided by the people of the UK to be sufficiently in line with what they voted for and expected. Otherwise we'll end up with a solution that nobody wants and nobody voted for that is in nobody's interest.
1
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to john arran:

I fear we are on track to a situation where nobody will be happy
elsewhere on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I fear we are on track to a situation where nobody will be happy

Now that is a suprise. Not.
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Do I detect a hint of sarcasm in your post?
elsewhere on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Do I detect a hint of sarcasm in your post?

Just a tad.

Dax H - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I fear we are on track to a situation where nobody will be happy

I think we are on a pre planned track that end without brexit.
This might be tinfoil hat stuff but I have half a theory how things are going to pan out.

The heads of the EU and the UK have already had secret talks, the purpose of which is to draw out impossible negotiations long enough with such shocking concequense that all but the most anti EU will change their stance and magically article 50 will be repealed and we stay in.
At the same time any other member states that are following the process with a mind to leaving will be scared back in to line.
As a reward for backing down and "coming to our senses" the EU will grant us marginally better consessions on some of the bigger sticking points whilst we will give the EU other things buried in legislation that the UK public won't notice.

Like I say tinfoil hat stuff but it's what I would do if I were in power,
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Dax H:
It would be better and cerainly easier if the UK stayed in the EU from most politicians and many people's point of view.
If negotiation had been drawn out and maybe extended and then another referendum held it is quite possible that the vote would have been to remain.
This might still happen.
However, the EU withdrawing the UK rebate and any other hard won concessions (is this actually legal?) before we had even left, will not help to convince leavers to change their mind.
Post edited at 14:24
1
wbo - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
that's because they assume you're leaving. The prevarication so present in threads like this simply doesn't happen on the other side.

Living in an EEU country I get a different perspective on this, but I can tell you Brexit is a long, long way from front page news now.
Post edited at 15:20
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to wbo:

I thought the EU was famous for 'kicking the can down the road'?
Ian W - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

And thats the bit that really gets me.

We might have voted to leave the EU - fine.
We may be heading for a rocky time economically as a result - fine.
But the idea of giving the set of unprincipled power crazy idealogues we have in charge at the moment the ability to change laws without scrutiny and debate is horrifying, especially when their lack any real grasp on reality is so evident.

And those in favour of brexit should also be worried at this; apart from the fact hurrying everything through is going to leave a fudge that suits nobody, donr forget the vast majority of those in all parliamentary parties were in favour of staying in the EU.........
Trevers - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Do you really think that Brexit is the result of a few rich people?

I do think so, 100%.

There was an Ipsos Mori poll recently about public perception of important issues over time. Issues such as NHS, inequality, wages etc. have been ranking highly for years. The EU on the other hand, was languishing on ~10% for years until the referendum campaigning began in earnest last year, at which point it shot up to ~50%. It simply wasn't a problem for all but a minority.

The "debate" about immigration and wages has been for years led by the tabloid press and people like Farage. It's led to a massive gulf because the public understanding of such issues and objective reality. Come the referendum campaign, the leave sides managed to scapegoat those issues onto the EU.
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:

While I'd hate to argue with the results of a poll I believe there were many reasons for the leave vote.
While some might have been persuaded by the campaigns I do believe that many people, with or without a firm grasp of the facts, had made upmtheir minds as soon as the referendum was announced, if not before.
I would strongly disagree that Brexit is a result of either rich Tories or a right wing press.
It is, amongst other things, a refusal of main stream politicians to listen to and understand the perceived causes of grievances of the electorate.
5
wbo - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron: Do you really think that Brexit is the result of a few rich people?

Arron Banks springs to mind as bankrolling the Leave sides guerrilla marketing campaign

baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to wbo:

I wouldn't argue that rich tories were involved in the leave campaign but that their influence was nowhere near as great as some are suggesting.
wbo - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron: How significant do you think the influence of Nigel Farage was?

john arran - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> While I'd hate to argue with the results of a poll I'm going to argue with it anyway.

FTFY
Trevers - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> While I'd hate to argue with the results of a poll I believe there were many reasons for the leave vote.

> While some might have been persuaded by the campaigns I do believe that many people, with or without a firm grasp of the facts, had made up their minds as soon as the referendum was announced, if not before.

Perhaps, but that was my point about the tabloids setting the agenda for years. People were fed a steady drip of mistruths about immigration and the EU. Just because they more or less ignored the campaign itself, doesn't mean they were well-informed.

> I would strongly disagree that Brexit is a result of either rich Tories or a right wing press.

> It is, amongst other things, a refusal of main stream politicians to listen to and understand the perceived causes of grievances of the electorate.

I absolutely agree with this. And I can fully sympathise with the desire to give Cameron and co and good boot up the arse, if you feel that doing so won't negatively affect your situation. Can't say they didn't deserve it, except that the end result is division and possible economic oblivion for the country while Cameron reneges on all responsibility and waltzes off to easy semi-retirement to enjoy his millions. It's hardly a satisfactory outcome, and definitely not the people sticking it to the elite.
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to wbo:

I think Mr Farage has had, as it turns out, probably the biggest influence on British politics in decades.
Not just during the referendum but in the years since the formation of UKIP.
1
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to john arran:
Thanks, you obviously have more faith in polls than I do.
1
baron - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:
The truth about migration depends upon the direct affect it has on your life.
I've seen a report - still trying to find a link - which said that professional migrants make a positive contribution to the economy while lower skilled migrants take out more than they put in but overall migration is positive in financial terms.
All of which is useless if you see your local community 'overrun' by migrants.
Overrun could be a perception or an actual large influx of migrants.
That's a fact for some areas of the UK.
The media feed on these fears but those fears are reinforced by what people think they see on their streets.
Hence migration being one but by no means the only reason for voting leave.
A fact ignored by the remain campaign (and focused on by the leave campaign) and by politicians of all parties for far too long.
The elite as you rightly state won't be overly concerned whatever the electorate do.
3
Dax H - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> The truth about migration depends upon the direct affect it has on your life.

> The media feed on these fears but those fears are reinforced by what people think they see on their streets.

The only thing I take issue with in your last post is the last sentence quoted above.
It's not what people think they see, it's what they actually see.

Most of the factories and construction sites I visit are populated by eastern European workers, British folk don't get a look in because the perception is that eastern Europeans work harder and to be honest after 30 years of visiting many many different factories I have seen production go up by displacing British worker's with foreign ones who are not in union's and are willing to do any job for any amount of money.

I live in south Leeds and my area is one of the government dumping grounds for refuges on top of a very large non British working population because housing is cheap here.
It takes weeks to get sn appointment at the doctor's and when you do finally get in the majority of people waiting are not of British origin going by the skin colour and the totally unpronounceable names that come up on the board.

I grew up in this area and though it's always been a poor area people took pride in their houses. A large area is now mostly Bangladeshi and to be frank it's a total shit hole.

Personally I don't have a problem with the cultural diversity in my area but I am not competing for work and I am not stuck living here, we could move to a much nicer area tomorrow but we prefer small mortgage and lots of spending money to large mortgage and little spends.

PS please don't think that I think British employment would see a golden age after brexit, I tend to find that most of those who bleat about foreigners taking our jobs don't actually want to get off their arse and work, they just want someone to blame.

I wonder how many dislikes I'm going to get.

3
Sir Chasm - on 10 Sep 2017
In reply to Dax H:

Because leaving the eu is going to mean you see fewer Bangladeshis (or whatever sort of brown people) at your GP? Ffs.
Trevers - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> The media feed on these fears but those fears are reinforced by what people think they see on their streets.

I think this is a very important point. Confirmation bias is a powerful tool for those seeking to influence opinion.
andyfallsoff - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I think Mr Farage has had, as it turns out, probably the biggest influence on British politics in decades.

> Not just during the referendum but in the years since the formation of UKIP.

Doesn't this conflict with your proposal that people what out of the EU for their own reasons and not because right wing politicians have convinced them that would fix their problems?
Jim C - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:


> Stacking the committees would allow this bill to pass with less scrutiny and amendment.

It was stated ( on Marr ) today that the Labour Party (who are appalled at this attack on democracy) did the same with committees when they were in power.


Dax H - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Because leaving the eu is going to mean you see fewer Bangladeshis (or whatever sort of brown people) at your GP? Ffs.

Last time I checked Bangladesh or any of the other Asian countries are not in the EU so it won't make a difference.
I was replying to Baron's post about people's perceptions on the area's they live and work in.
deepsoup - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Dax H:
It's a bit bizarre to blame the other people in the waiting room for how difficult it is to see your GP whatever colour they are, would you still be doing that if they looked more like yourself?
1
neilh - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Dax H:

Not sure how this fits in with your previous posts on on this subjects where from what I recall you basically say you pay your staff well but cannot get people to work for you.

Do you have any EU nationals as employees? Maybe you should.

I too visit factories, and I do not recognise the image you create.I know quite a few (in textile related production) and they pay well to all backgrounds.Immigrants do not undercut locals, far from it they take vacancies which are available to all.Usually because they have a far stronger work ethic and have the right skills.

It is a mixed picture and far more complicated than you portray.
1
Trevers - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Jim C:

Arguments of the form "two wrongs make a right" seem to be very popular with Brexiteers.
1
john arran - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:

Also, just because it was stated, does that make it true, or significant? If you can find one climate-change denying scientist does that mean that all climate change opinions have equal merit?
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> It was stated ( on Marr ) today that the Labour Party (who are appalled at this attack on democracy) did the same with committees when they were in power.

Except they were entitled to, as they had substantial majorities in the House of Commons during all three parliaments.

The current Tory administration does not have a majority on the floor of the house, and therefore is not entitled to stuff committees with its MPs in order to prevent valid opposition scrutiny.

Yes of course it would be convenient for the tories not to have to negotiate with other parties at Westminster on this, but the result of the election requires them to. Changing the established conventions of parliament, to shut out opposition parties with democratic mandates from recent elections, in the name of convenience, would put the tories in some pretty bleak company.
2
baron - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

No.
Mr Farage is, to some, a charismatic figure and as leader of UKIP he gave an alternative view to the mainstream parties but he simply voiced the already existing concerns of many people.I stand by my assertion that people voted out of the EU not because of what politicians said during the referendum campaign but because of what politicians failed to do in the years leading up to the vote.
1
john arran - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

So on the one hand we have Trevers's polls showing a massive increase in anti-EU sentiment during the referendum campaign. And on the other hand we have baron's bold and unsupported assertion, which he stands by, that he knows otherwise.

I know polls are often inaccurate - that's their nature - but even though it sometimes makes a critical difference to an outcome, they're rarely all that far out. And they certainly can't be dismissed out of hand simply because they're inconvenient and you would prefer reality to be something different!

Whatever happened to critical reasoning?
2
Dax H - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

> It's a bit bizarre to blame the other people in the waiting room for how difficult it is to see your GP whatever colour they are, would you still be doing that if they looked more like yourself?

If you read what I put rather than reading your own agenda you will see I am not blaming anyone.
Baron posted about what people "think" they see. I posted the reality of living in a large multi cultural area (not sure but Beeston may be classified as a ghetto, I'm sure I read that somewhere).
I apportion no blame on the people living here for the lack of service's no matter what colour or nationality they are.
But lots of people do in this area.
baron - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to john arran:
Trever's poll was, according to his post, about people's perceptions of what was important. Not about being anti EU, unless I've missed one of his posts or a link somewhere.
That people's ideas of what's important should change during a referendum campaign is not surprising.
My point about not believing polls was meant to be sarcastic but is your statement that polls are rarely that far out sarcastic as well?
1
Dax H - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to neilh:
> Not sure how this fits in with your previous posts on on this subjects where from what I recall you basically say you pay your staff well but cannot get people to work for you.

That was one specific and very specialised role that is now happily filled.
When I have advertised for low skill jobs I get hundreds of applications in a matter of a few days, mostly from Eastern Europeans when you look at the name and things like education history.

Edited to add, a significant number of the applications from UK people (based on names and education history) are a total waste of time.
Due to the dole Office (or whatever its called now) wanting to see job applications before paying out I get loads of applications that say derivatives on "giz a job". No CV, no cover note or anything just "giz a job"

> Do you have any EU nationals as employees? Maybe you should.

No I don't, with the exception of one person everyone who works for me was born in Leeds, the one outsider comes from Huddersfield. I always look to a local first and if I can't find a local then I would look further but so far I have not had to.

> I too visit factories, and I do not recognise the image you create.I know quite a few (in textile related production) and they pay well to all backgrounds.Immigrants do not undercut locals, far from it they take vacancies which are available to all.Usually because they have a far stronger work ethic and have the right skills.

I'm not in textile but as far as my customers go, typically printing, bed manufacturers, glazing manufacturers, glass production, foundries, construction and the like there isn't much English speaking going on on the shop floor, maybe it's just my customers.
You are 100% correct re the work ethic.

> It is a mixed picture and far more complicated than you portray.

Yes it is but I can only portray what I see day in day out.
Post edited at 10:51
Doug on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Dax H:


> No I don't, with the exception of one person everyone who works for me was born in Leeds,

So EU nationals (for the moment)
thomasadixon - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> The current Tory administration does not have a majority on the floor of the house, and therefore is not entitled to stuff committees with its MPs in order to prevent valid opposition scrutiny.

With the DUP in tow they do, of course, have a majority. In reality if you exclude the DUP they still have a majority, as Sinn Fein don't turn up. All a bit overblown this, isn't it?
neilh - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Dax H:

I regularly use 2 foundries. One in Stoke and one in Burton.I also use lost wast castings near Macclesfield.

I have yet to see anything else other than Uk nationals ( of all races) working in that environment.
Bob Hughes - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> In reality if you exclude the DUP they still have a majority, as Sinn Fein don't turn up.

Can you show your working?
I make it
650-7 = 643
643/2 = 321.5 so a majority would be 322 and the Tories have 316 seats.
thomasadixon - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Excluding the DUP, so not minus 7 (that's just Sinn Fein). If people are annoyed that NI has swung it then you can ignore NI entirely and the Tories have a majority. Either way the Tories do have the DUP, which gives them a clear (if tiny) majority.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

and without the DUP they dont have a majority

if the committees are set up to reflect this, and have no overall Tory majority, but do have a working majority for the government with DUP participation, then that will have its own ramifications but would at least be consistent with parliamentary precedent and regulation.

the Tory spokesperson was invited to comment if that would be what would happen; they declined to do so.
1
Trevers - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
I'm sorry, I should have included a link. Here it is:

https://www.slideshare.net/IpsosMORI/ipsos-mori-issues-index-april-2017

The dip in the importance of Immigration, concurrent with the rise of the importance of the EU, is curious.

You're correct that the poll doesn't show whether the concern equates to anti- or pro-EU sentiment. On the other hand, given the amount of anti-EU sentiment around now, one would expect that, if these were long-held views, it would manifest itself as genuine concern before the current period.
Post edited at 12:47
baron - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:

Thanks for the link.

baron - on 11 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:
I think that for many years people felt there was little point focusing on the EU as no mainstream political party really offered any real opportunity of leaving the EU.
Especially since the Blair years when despite all the rhetoric there was little to choose between Labour and Conservative parties.
With the advent of UKIP and the offer of a referendum by Mr Cameron those who'd held long term anti EU views (and every other malcontent as well) felt free to vent their opinions.
baron - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
Not even close in the end.
326. - 290
Even Dennis Skinner voted for!
Bob Hughes - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

thanks
Bob Hughes - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

Yes, so much for these dark forces trying to derail Brexit. The biggest spanner in the works has been Theresa May herself
1
Trevers - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

You could be right - however, there's no significant increase in late 2014 when UKIP gained their first MP, or around the 2015 election. Remember, Farage had been a well-known talking head for years, with regular appearances on the BBC.
tony on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Not even close in the end.

> 326. - 290

> Even Dennis Skinner voted for!

There is still quite a long way to go. This was a vote on the second reading. There remains the committee stage and the third reading. It's only at the third reading that amendments to the bill are introduced and debated, and apparently there were considerable queues last night to table amendments. As far as I can tell, most of the amendments will relate to restrictions to the power of ministers to change legislation without consulting Parliament.

There's a certain irony in the fact that many Leave MPs want to see an assertion of UK Parliamentary sovereignty while supporting a Bill which takes Parliament out of the decision-making processes.
Big Ger - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

Some well known names;

Dennis Skinner
Ronnie Campbell
Frank Field
Kate Hoey
Kelvin Hopkins
John Mann
Graham Stringer

Will Corbyn now sack them?
Trevers - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

None of them are in the shadow cabinet...

Kate Hoey should go and join UKIP, where her views would be more at home. Her contributions to this debate have been characteristically worthless.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Not even close in the end.

> 326. - 290

> Even Dennis Skinner voted for!

Yes- but as others have pointed out, this is the beginning, not the end of the process. There is a second reading, and then the committee stages, and amendments have been proposed:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41235522

Having cleared the second reading stage, the bill will now face more attempts to change it with MPs, including several senior Conservative backbenchers, publishing a proposed 157 amendments, covering 59 pages.

This *should* allow for proper scrutiny by MPs from all sides in the committee stage- but in an update to my OP:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41225056

the Duppers are going to back the Tories in their bid to establish a majority for them on the committee, in defiance of the parliamentary procedure that the composition of the committee should mirror that of the house. Note- not that the combined Tory + DUP membership would be a majority- that would be fair enough- but that Tories alone would hold a majority.

Here's the Duppers' reason:

"the alternative would be spontaneous trench warfare on the most mundane of issues, and to whose benefit? Jeremy Corbyn's benefit. And we're not in the business of doing that".

so, no attempt at concealing the naked partisanship of this. the straw men are out in force, and tribalism and convenience wins over democracy. A minority Tory government will close down scrutiny and debate which the outcome of the recent general election mandates should take place.

As i said upthread, you may be happy with the end that this serves- but don't kid yourself on that the precedent this sets, and the divisions it creates, will go away afterwards. One day, a party you don't like will use this as a means to force through something you find objectionable; and you'll be able to trace it back to here. In the meantime, the conduct of politics and political debate in society will become ever more polarised and tribal.

1
thomasadixon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
What precedent does it set that you're so concerned with? That if two parties together have a majority they can put themselves in the majority on committees?

> so, no attempt at concealing the naked partisanship of this. the straw men are out in force, and tribalism and convenience wins over democracy. A minority Tory government will close down scrutiny and debate which the outcome of the recent general election mandates should take place.

The DUP are openly saying that what they're doing is supporting the Tories over the opposition. That's our MPs, a majority of them, running the country. How is that winning over democracy? Isn't that just democracy in action? When Labour put themselves in the majority on committees is that tribalism too?
Post edited at 14:11
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> What precedent does it set that you're so concerned with? That if two parties together have a majority they can put themselves in the majority on committees?

thats not what's proposed though- there's no suggestion that it will be combined Tory + DUP membership, instead the majority will be a directly Tory one

you may suggest that's just semantics; i think that the difference is a real one. the tories and DUP are not the same party, indeed they are not even in a formal coalition. The tories couldn't select the nominations for DUP candidates for the committees the way they will be able to with their own candidates; and a DUP member would not be subject to internal Tory party discipline the way a Tory will be. The ability of the government to control the membership and decision making of committees will be clearly much greater if they have a majority of their own MPs rather than being dependent on Duppers.

> The DUP are openly saying that what they're doing is supporting the Tories over the opposition. That's our MPs, a majority of them, running the country. How is that winning over democracy? Isn't that just democracy in action? When Labour put themselves in the majority on committees is that tribalism too?

that's MPs going beyond what our constitution, such as it is, currently allows. Of course, parliament is sovereign (well, except for when it comes to decisions over incorporating european law...), so if it changes the rules, then that's its prerogative. but: if labour did the same in a comparable position- ie where their share of the house didn't entitle them to- i'd be absolutely against them for doing so too.

Because whoever did it, it would be wrong. the governing party of the day changing the rules of the game to advantage it and to reduce inconvenience to it, just because it can, is bad for democracy. places with written constitutions usually require supermajorities for changes to consitutional arrangements for a good reason.

the electorate returned a hung parliament, with no party in a position to assume overall control. the convention is that this should be reflected in the make up of committees reviewing legislation. its stood us in good stead as a way of conducting parliamentary business for hundreds of years. when parties want to change it, and de facto take power from parliament to the executive, for reasons of 'efficiency' and explicitly stated partisanship, i'd suggest that's a pretty shabby way to operate, and is going to have consequences which extend beyond this issue.

1
thomasadixon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
The DUP are supporting the government. They, and the Tories, want the committees to have a majority that reflects this in certain situations, and they're making it so that this happens. This couldn't happen if they didn't have enough MPs to make it happen, it's only happening because of the way we all voted at the last election.

> that's MPs going beyond what our constitution, such as it is, currently allows. Of course, parliament is sovereign (well, except for when it comes to decisions over incorporating european law...), so if it changes the rules, then that's its prerogative. but: if labour did the same in a comparable position- ie where their share of the house didn't entitle them to- i'd be absolutely against them for doing so too.

So it is not going beyond our constitution at all, is it? If Labour plus SNP made a majority then would you be against them running things? I wouldn't, although I'd not have been happy with the election result.

> Because whoever did it, it would be wrong. the governing party of the day changing the rules of the game to advantage it and to reduce inconvenience to it, just because it can, is bad for democracy. places with written constitutions usually require supermajorities for changes to consitutional arrangements for a good reason.

They're changing the rules (slightly) because Labour and the Lib Dems have made very clear that they'll do whatever they can to create turmoil, and so they're changing them to prevent those who lost the election from causing day to day problems for the sake of it. All those involved are elected, they are all up for election again and they will be held accountable at that time for the actions that they take. I can't see how it's undemocratic. Yes places with written constitutions often require supermajorities, so? Cats have whiskers, dogs bark, those are irrelevant facts too...

Edit - to be a bit less facetious, do you think that our system is undemocratic and systems that require larger majorities for major changes are more so? Preventing 60% of voters from making a change is more democratic than 55% of voters being able to change things? Why?

> the electorate returned a hung parliament

The electorate returned a certain set of MPs and a group of them, a majority, are running things. That's exactly how it's stood for hundreds of years. The maths doesn't make the Tories plus the DUP a minority, it shouldn't allow Labour plus SNP plus Lib Dems to have a blocking majority. Parties are partisan by their very nature, politics is partisan by its very nature, I can't see how you can complain about that part of the situation.
Post edited at 15:15
3
MG - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to
> They're changing the rules (slightly) because Labour and the Lib Dems have made very clear that they'll do whatever they can to create turmoil,

Neither part of that is correct. They are changing the rules because the know without doing so Labour and others would scrutinise the proposed legislation and highlight potential problems, of which there are many (even many Tory MPs acknowledge this). Describing this as "causing turmoil" is just your prejudice against any opposition to what the Tories propose. Basically you are saying you want no dissenting voices or questioning about some of the most major pieces of legislation for at least 50 years. That's a recipe for disastrous legislation.

It's an unbelievably short-term view. When the Tories are in a minority would you support a government of another stripe rigging things their way to avoid "turmoil" causing Tories posing questions, or would you suddenly see things differently?


1
thomasadixon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:

There's no suggestion that Labour and Lib Dem MPs won't be on the committees, they will be, they just won't get casting votes. The rest is semantics.

> It's an unbelievably short-term view. When the Tories are in a minority would you support a government of another stripe rigging things their way to avoid "turmoil" causing Tories posing questions, or would you suddenly see things differently?

I would see it as part of the way it works, and accept it. Do you imagine that when Labour are next in power (with or without other parties' assistance) they'll have committees where the Tories are the majority? Can't see it myself, and I wouldn't expect it.
1
MG - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

>
> I would see it as part of the way it works,

You really think changing rules to suit your agenda "is the way it works"!? Maybe in Russia. Id rather hoped not in the UK. Why not vote to get rid of elections too, after all the electorate will only "cause turmoil".
2
Tyler - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

If you believe in democracy and parliamentary sovereignty then you should be against what they are trying to do on principle, it really is that simple.
1
thomasadixon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to Tyler:

Why? In what way does this conflict with either democracy or Parliamentary sovereignty?

MG - Getting rid of elections is the equivalent to this? Really? MPs get elected based on an agenda (detailed in a manifesto), and their *job* is changing the law (the rules) to suit that agenda.
MG - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> *job* is changing the law (the rules) to suit that agenda.

No one's objecting to changes in the law. It's stacking the committees (by changing the rules) that is the problem. There is no difference in substance, only degree, between this and getting rid of elections.
1
thomasadixon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:
> There is no difference in substance, only degree, between this and getting rid of elections.

What do you mean? Elections are the process whereby we choose who represents us (and so choose what law is made or choose the agenda that'll be implemented), committees are the process whereby detail in the law is checked. How are the two the same in substance?
Post edited at 16:53
MG - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:
Both elections and committees follow sets of rules. If the those in power simply change the rules arbitrarily, as here with the committee membership, to ensure their power, the effect is the same in principle.
e.g. If he Tories decide (by commons bill, all above board) to give all votes for them, twice the weight of those for anyone else, would you be happy with that?
Post edited at 17:01
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> The DUP are supporting the government. They, and the Tories, want the committees to have a majority that reflects this in certain situations, and they're making it so that this happens. This couldn't happen if they didn't have enough MPs to make it happen, it's only happening because of the way we all voted at the last election.

i repeat- if the majority on committee was made up of Tory + DUP MPs, then i'd accept that as within the rules. That is not what is being proposed. Stacking with Tories is not the same thing at all, for the reasons i set out and which you've not engaged with.

> So it is not going beyond our constitution at all, is it? If Labour plus SNP made a majority then would you be against them running things? I wouldn't, although I'd not have been happy with the election result.

No, not if the majority on committee was made up of a combination of labour and SNP members. If the SNP voted for labour to stack committees with enough labour MPs to ensure that government business passed without challenge, when the electoral outcome didn't allow for that, then i'd be every bit as disgusted at them as i am at the Tories and DUP. Because it is absolutely going beyond our current established arrangements- this is self evidently the case, else they wouldnt need a vote in the commons to change the rules to allow it!

> They're changing the rules (slightly) because Labour and the Lib Dems have made very clear that they'll do whatever they can to create turmoil, and so they're changing them to prevent those who lost the election from causing day to day problems for the sake of it. All those involved are elected, they are all up for election again and they will be held accountable at that time for the actions that they take. I can't see how it's undemocratic. Yes places with written constitutions often require supermajorities, so? Cats have whiskers, dogs bark, those are irrelevant facts too...

> Edit - to be a bit less facetious, do you think that our system is undemocratic and systems that require larger majorities for major changes are more so? Preventing 60% of voters from making a change is more democratic than 55% of voters being able to change things? Why?

> The electorate returned a certain set of MPs and a group of them, a majority, are running things. That's exactly how it's stood for hundreds of years. The maths doesn't make the Tories plus the DUP a minority, it shouldn't allow Labour plus SNP plus Lib Dems to have a blocking majority. Parties are partisan by their very nature, politics is partisan by its very nature, I can't see how you can complain about that part of the situation.

I repeat, again, if this was the Tories +DUP on the committees, fair enough. that's not what's being proposed, or else there would be no need to have a vote in the commons to enable it. the result of the election did not allow for the tories to stack the committees with their MPs; it requires them to be in a minority, which other parties can 'top up' to allow a majority and passing of the business in hand. if they put a Dupper on the committee, fair enough- if they are there by right, and vote to support the committee business taking into account the interests of their party and electorate, thats fine. if they swap the DUP member for an extra Tory, that's not fine.

and as to the stuff about labour and the lib dems 'creating turmoil'- nonsense; labour are HM official opposition, and have a constitutional role to hold the government to account. they will also be held to account by their electorate, very large swathes of which are pro-brexit. the idea that labour would mischief make to derail brexit is ridiculous- it would be electoral suicide. the Tories want to deny them their role using dirty tricks, and then blame the victim for it. Nasty, nasty politics.

As to the point about supermajorities- its because the 'rules of the game' are so important that it has to be made hard to change them- otherwise opportunists in a tight spot will find it impossible to avoid the temptation to rig the rules in their favour.



1
MG - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

As Robert Peston put it "She [May] has returned back from holiday with the spirit of the Venezuelan approach to democracy seemingly coursing through her veins."
1
thomasadixon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> i repeat- if the majority on committee was made up of Tory + DUP MPs, then i'd accept that as within the rules. That is not what is being proposed. Stacking with Tories is not the same thing at all, for the reasons i set out and which you've not engaged with.

I thought I had, if indirectly. The DUP are happy to have Tories sub them, to take their places. That's up to them, not you, even if it does have the risks you list. They don't want to do the detail and so are making it so that Tories can take their places (or what would be their places, under the usual rules. It's not a big step from our current arrangements, it's similar to the Lib Dems plus Tories being the majority on committees under Cameron. It's just the largest group of MPs, organised in the way they see fit, having the most slots. Usually that's one party, here it's two parties acting together. It is a technical change, of course.

> and as to the stuff about labour and the lib dems 'creating turmoil'- nonsense; labour are HM official opposition, and have a constitutional role to hold the government to account. they will also be held to account by their electorate, very large swathes of which are pro-brexit. the idea that labour would mischief make to derail brexit is ridiculous- it would be electoral suicide. the Tories want to deny them their role using dirty tricks, and then blame the victim for it. Nasty, nasty politics.

Why do they need to have the majority on these committees in order to hold the government to account? In normal times they would still do that job and they would not need a majority for it. They're not being denied their usual role, they're arguing for a greater role than usual. We'll have to agree to disagree on the semantics of the politics - I think Corbyn will try and cause trouble to harm the Tories if he can, regardless of the effect on the country.

> As to the point about supermajorities- its because the 'rules of the game' are so important that it has to be made hard to change them- otherwise opportunists in a tight spot will find it impossible to avoid the temptation to rig the rules in their favour.

That doesn't answer the point. We're a democracy. That we don't have supermajorities for certain decisions doesn't make us not one, imo. Do you think it does? I'm not convinced of the merits of constitutions.
2
thomasadixon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:

> Both elections and committees follow sets of rules. If the those in power simply change the rules arbitrarily, as here with the committee membership, to ensure their power, the effect is the same in principle.

It's not arbitrary. This parliament, unusually, there's no majority government. The Tories can act as one though, because they have the DUPs support. The rules weren't written to take into account this situation, what you do when that happens is amend the rules if necessary. They're gone if the DUP withdraw their support, with the DUP they have the power already.

> e.g. If he Tories decide (by commons bill, all above board) to give all votes for them, twice the weight of those for anyone else, would you be happy with that?

Hardly the same, but no, of course not. Do you think they'd get that through? I don't.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:
It's not that similar to the lib dems and tories; they continued to be represented independently on committees as far as I'm aware, and they were in a formal coalition. The DUP have only entered a looser confidence and supply arrangement. I am not aware of a historical precedent for what is being proposed. And there is no scope for 'subbing ' for other parties on committees, you've had to invent that- if such behaviour was allowed in the current rules, they wouldn't have to have a vote in parliament to get authority to do this.

You continually downplay this as a matter of 'semantics ', or a 'technical change'- but it's nothing of the sort. The parties concerned are fully aware of this; again, they wouldn't need a vote in the commons if it was merely technical, nor would they feel the need to engage in the smear campaign to justify it.

As to the holding to account- how effective will that be with a Tory majority baked in to the committees? And how effective if that's not present? Quite different, no? Those 150+ amendments- how many get through in scenario one vs scenario two?

Scenario two is what we voted for. Scenario one is what this change will bring. This is absolutely not a matter of semantics or a technical issue; it's whether parliament can do its job as the electorate intended, or whether the executive will take that power for itself.

And your comments re Corbyn betray you- I am far from a Corbyn supporter, but when the root of your argument for undermining democracy is an ad hominem then you're in very dubious territory.

The final point- democracy isn't a binary construct. If this goes ahead, of course we will remain one- but diminished, as the precedent that the party in power can change the rules to its advantage will be set. The world will of course not topple from its axis; but the fabric that holds the country together, and allows people to accept the transfer of powers to those that they oppose, on the basis they will be treated fairly while their opponents wield powers, will be progressively corroded. I'm certain I'm not the only person who thinks this is a bad thing.

Written constitutions and supermajorities go some way to protect the structures of democracy from politicians who would prioritise short term personal and partisan gain over the long term health of the political system and society as a whole. The aren't part of British political culture it's true, and previous generations of politicians have respected this and generally refrained from taking advantage.

May has a track record of dire judgement though, so it's no great surprise she's added to that on this issue.
Post edited at 23:26
thomasadixon - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> It's not that similar to the lib dems and tories; they continued to be represented independently on committees as far as I'm aware, and they were in a formal coalition. The DUP have only entered a looser confidence and supply arrangement. I am not aware of a historical precedent for what is being proposed. And there is no scope for 'subbing ' for other parties on committees, you've had to invent that- if such behaviour was allowed in the current rules, they wouldn't have to have a vote in parliament to get authority to do this.

I didn't invent it, they did, but it's a fairly common practice. People have agents act for them all the time. It's not that outlandish an idea. Yes, the DUP have a looser arrangement, part of that arrangement is now that they've agreed that the Tories can take the place of a DUP MP on the committees. I understand that you don't like it, but I don't see why you get to tell them what they're able to do. I also don't see that one MP asking another to take their place in this way is a challenge to democracy. Both are elected, and the DUP are acting as they see fit.

You absolutely need a vote if it's technical. Smear campaign?

> As to the holding to account- how effective will that be with a Tory majority baked in to the committees? And how effective if that's not present? Quite different, no? Those 150+ amendments- how many get through in scenario one vs scenario two?

How effective is it usually? Obviously fewer if there's a Tory majority, as per usual.

> Scenario two is what we voted for. Scenario one is what this change will bring. This is absolutely not a matter of semantics or a technical issue; it's whether parliament can do its job as the electorate intended, or whether the executive will take that power for itself.

No, we voted for the DUP just as much as for the Tories or Labour, and that's Scenario one. If each amendment were brought to Parliament the government would have the majority they need, which is why in usual times they have a majority on the committees.

> And your comments re Corbyn betray you- I am far from a Corbyn supporter, but when the root of your argument for undermining democracy is an ad hominem then you're in very dubious territory.

An ad hominem? He's a politician, the Tories might well do the same in their position. He wants to take power (not at all an unreasonable wish for a politician) and a good way to do that (if he thinks the government sufficiently unstable) would be to table endless amendments to delay things.

> The final point- democracy isn't a binary construct. If this goes ahead, of course we will remain one- but diminished, as the precedent that the party in power can change the rules to its advantage will be set. The world will of course not topple from its axis; but the fabric that holds the country together, and allows people to accept the transfer of powers to those that they oppose, on the basis they will be treated fairly while their opponents wield powers, will be progressively corroded. I'm certain I'm not the only person who thinks this is a bad thing.

We'll just have to agree to disagree. Subbing isn't that big a deal. A majority in Parliament is still what you need to run the country, and to make law.
Post edited at 23:34
2
Jim C - on 12 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
> No, it's designed to protect their interests. And why wouldn't they ?

Perhaps because there is no legal basis for their financial demands ?
( Edit but I sense an amendment to A50 is in the offing)
Post edited at 23:55
Trevers - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> The world will of course not topple from its axis; but the fabric that holds the country together, and allows people to accept the transfer of powers to those that they oppose, on the basis they will be treated fairly while their opponents wield powers, will be progressively corroded. I'm certain I'm not the only person who thinks this is a bad thing.

As you say, it's a bad thing anyway. But given what it's enabling, a change that will wreak havoc in ways as yet unknown, that half the population don't want. Brexit would rankle (to put it lightly) even if the whole thing had democratic legitimacy, but democracy has, to me, been undermined at every stage. It seems as though we're at the top of a very slippery slope.
Big Ger - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Trevers:

> Kate Hoey should go and join UKIP, where her views would be more at home. Her contributions to this debate have been characteristically worthless.


By "characteristically worthless." you mean "different to mine" obvs. This is why you lost the debate on Brexit.
2
RomTheBear on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> Perhaps because there is no legal basis for their financial demands ?

Completely unrelated.

> Edit but I sense an amendment to A50 is in the offing)

What kind of amendment ?
2
Jim C - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
> Completely unrelated.
How so?
Baron said the EU were stalling until the divorce bill was settled, you said and why wouldn't they ( stall until the divorce bill was settled)

I then suggested that they should not have stalled negotiations waiting for a divorce bill to be settled, being a 'bill' that had no legal basis.
I fail to see how these are unrelated, but if you say so, you can dismiss this if you like, the point remains completely related to my view.

> What kind of amendment ?
It seems obvious that during discussions of the the EU's demands for a so called ' divorce bill' that this was omitted from the A50, and this is a mistake , and why the EU are having problems convincing the UK negotiators that the UK are legally bound to pay everything the EU are asking for.
Had a fully costed 'divorce bill' been explained in A50 it would not have been at all contentious , it would have been in A50, it would have been brought up and discussed during the referendum , and so everyone would have been aware of this before voting.

I cannot see the EU leaving A50 unamended. Brexit will have been a ' lessons learned' excercise , and this will be just one of the lessons they have learned, and I would expect that they will amend A50 to make the Remainers and leavers rights and responsibilities clearer should any other state want to leave.

Edit:- "Giuliano Amato, a former prime minister of Italy, who later worked with the European Commission, helped draft the European Constitution, which became the Lisbon Treaty. He said he had written the now infamous Article 50 but that it was largely for show "

I think this quote tells you they are negotiating with an A50 found to be not fit for purpose , they will clearly have to redraft it .
Post edited at 08:50
1
Trevers - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
> By "characteristically worthless." you mean "different to mine" obvs. This is why you lost the debate on Brexit.

I mean "devoid of evidence or reasoning", "divisive while claiming to be inclusive", "blindly optimistic" and "blaming everything on those who wish to remain".

EDIT: Here's what I'm talking about:
> "One problem is that those of us who voted to leave and were pleased with the result genuinely feel that, although a lot of people are saying, “Oh yes, we accept the result of the referendum”, they are doing every little bit of work they can behind the scenes not necessarily to prevent us from leaving, but to make it as difficult and tedious as possible."

and:
> "I want us to be positive about our negotiations, because, in the end, we can get a good deal by just proclaiming how strong the United Kingdom is, how well respected we are, how strong our City of London is and how, despite the fact that we are leaving in 2019, companies are still coming to invest here."
Post edited at 10:45
1
RomTheBear on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> How so?

> Baron said the EU were stalling until the divorce bill was settled, you said and why wouldn't they ( stall until the divorce bill was settled)

> I then suggested that they should not have stalled negotiations waiting for a divorce bill to be settled, being a 'bill' that had no legal basis.

Still no logical connection between those two paragraphs. You're just engaging in sophistry it seems.

> I fail to see how these are unrelated, but if you say so, you can dismiss this if you like, the point remains completely related to my view.

You still have not explained why, but whatever.

> It seems obvious that during discussions of the the EU's demands for a so called ' divorce bill' that this was omitted from the A50, and this is a mistake , and why the EU are having problems convincing the UK negotiators that the UK are legally bound to pay everything the EU are asking for.

> Had a fully costed 'divorce bill' been explained in A50 it would not have been at all contentious , it would have been in A50, it would have been brought up and discussed during the referendum , and so everyone would have been aware of this before voting.

Indeed.

> I cannot see the EU leaving A50 unamended. Brexit will have been a ' lessons learned' excercise , and this will be just one of the lessons they have learned, and I would expect that they will amend A50 to make the Remainers and leavers rights and responsibilities clearer should any other state want to leave.

Sure, they are going to waste time in an impossible negotiation that would require treaty change in the terms of art 50, for no political gain, just to facilitate other members leaving, when the current vagueness and time limit of art 50 already confers a tremendous negotiating advantage to the remaining members.

I don't often say that but LOL


1
Doug on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> Edit:- "Giuliano Amato, a former prime minister of Italy, who later worked with the European Commission, helped draft the European Constitution, which became the Lisbon Treaty. He said he had written the now infamous Article 50 but that it was largely for show "

I thought the author was British, see
https://www.ft.com/content/4f0163d4-6b0a-11e7-bfeb-33fe0c5b7eaa
Jim C - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to Doug:

> I thought the author was British, see


There are various reports that name different people as 'authors' of A50 and in other reports they are described as having been involved in the drafting of A50.

It would appear that A50 was a collaboration , and as such ( irrespective of who were the actual authors) it is a clear case of - too many cooks have spoiled the broth.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I didn't invent it, they did, but it's a fairly common practice. People have agents act for them all the time. It's not that outlandish an idea. Yes, the DUP have a looser arrangement, part of that arrangement is now that they've agreed that the Tories can take the place of a DUP MP on the committees. I understand that you don't like it, but I don't see why you get to tell them what they're able to do. I also don't see that one MP asking another to take their place in this way is a challenge to democracy. Both are elected, and the DUP are acting as they see fit.

i dont get to tell them what to do, but neither can they make it up as they go along. there are rules, indeed here they are:

http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06507/SN06507.pdf

page 9

Public Bill Committees
In the House of Commons, most other Bills are dealt with by Public Bill Committees. A Public
Bill Committee normally consists of between 18 and 30 Members, chosen for that particular
Bill by the Committee of Selection. Committee members are selected by the political parties,
and the party balance on the Committee matches that in the House.


not a word in there about arrangement for swap deals, subbing, or acting as agents. you get what your party is entitled to based on the share of the seats you won, not what you can buy from other parties by stuffing barrels full of pork for them.

and i've explained why this is a threat to democracy- instead of the party of government being in a minority on the committee, and forced to rely on other parties to prevent the tabled amendments passing, they can quosh the amendments with their own MPs, who are subject to internal party discipline.

you might not like the fact that the current parliamentary arithmetic hands the power to disrupt to people you don't like; but that's the outcome of the election. may didn't have to call one, but she did, and the electorate have removed her majority, and deprived her of the right to ram through the bill as she proposed it. to take back that power, which voters removed from her, on the pretext that the opposition will oppose it, is clearly not unlawful if parliament votes for it.

but its deeply shabby behaviour, unbefitting of a british prime minister, insulting to voters, and will cause lasting damage to the political fabric of the country. our zombie PM's capacity to damage everything she touches appears to be nearly unlimited.


1
Tam O'Bam - on 13 Sep 2017
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

Ya wohl Mein Futret!
RomTheBear on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
Essentially with this bill, it's as if the election result did not matter.

People voted to deliver Brexit with a hung parliament. What does May do instead of finding a cross party conciliatory approach ? She tries desperately to change the rules of the game so that she can still do as if she still had a majority being her.

I suspect this isn't going to fly, well, if there any inch of democracy left in this country, it shouldn't .

She's tried the same approach with art 50, tried to bypass parliament, lost precious time, and lost the case. Frankly she should have resigned at that point.
Post edited at 07:40
2
summo on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

> People voted to deliver Brexit with a hung parliament. What does May do instead of finding a cross party conciliatory approach ? She tries desperately to change the rules of the game so that she can still do as if she still had a majority being her.

The other parties don't want the Tories to have Brexit success, as it weakens their case. For the SNP Brexit is a reason for independence and Labour would rather try to over throw the government than assist in any negotiations. Yes, there are many Labour mps who will happily work with the Tories and could thrash out a better plan, but none of them are in the Labour leadership or shadow cabinet. Corbyn and his union henchmen don't care about Brexit, they just want to cause unrest to gain power for themselves and they'll use whatever excuse to cause it. It's like the 70s and it didn't work for Labour then.
1
MG - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to summo:

This really isn't about Corbyn Vs May. It's about following the rules of government and democracy.

That said, on this matter, I can't see how you think it is Corbyn causing "unrest"
RomTheBear on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to summo:

> The other parties don't want the Tories to have Brexit success, as it weakens their case. For the SNP Brexit is a reason for independence and Labour would rather try to over throw the government than assist in any negotiations.

So ? That's the whole point of having a parliament isn't it, there is a balance of power.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to summo:

thomas said something similar; but that ignores the reality of the situation. a large proportion of labour's core vote is virulently pro-Brexit. the last 6 months should have taught us that corbyn is actually an effective political campaigner. he will be acutely aware that if a narrative that he is deliberately trying to derail brexit can be made to stick, he is toast. he's also not exactly a great believer in the remain cause.

this argument is just the creation of a straw man to justify the unpalatable fact that the Tories are engaging in an indefensible bypassing of the democratic process.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

yes to all of that.
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

But the democratic bypassing isn't indefensible it just doesn't fit in with what you think should happen.
If the government doesn't take these measures how long will it take to enshrine present EU law into the UK?
If a new government of a different political persuasion is elected they'll be faced with the same dilemma.
2
MG - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> But the democratic bypassing isn't indefensible it just doesn't fit in with what you think should happen.

You really don't think changing the rules of parliament and governance because you can't get your own way using them is indefensible? As above, there is no difference in substance between what the government plan and simply replacing elections with a system that delivers more power. In one case it's the committees that might block legislation the government want, in the other its voters. If you are willing to stack committees, why not stack elections. After all the irritating voters have not given the government a majority so how on earth can they pass the legislation they want with the system as it is?

> If the government doesn't take these measures how long will it take to enshrine present EU law into the UK?

Possibly a long time, possibly not. If doing it quickly is the will of MPs and committees, that's what happens. If not, it takes a long time. That's how government works. You don't simple bypass or change the system when fail to get the electoral mandate required to do it all on your terms.

> If a new government of a different political persuasion is elected they'll be faced with the same dilemma.

Yes.
1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:
While what you say makes perfect sense it just doesn't fit into the timescale available to the present or future government.
I am a believer in democracy and parliamentary procedure but don't share your belief in this situation setting a precedent for future power grabs.
Neither do a majority of MPs, including labour stalwarts, who voted for the bill to proceed this week.
thomasadixon - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> i dont get to tell them what to do, but neither can they make it up as they go along. there are rules, indeed here they are:

Yes, they do. They can change the rules, that's within the power of Parliament, I've already agreed that they'd need changing so I'm not sure why you're listing the current rules. I'm aware. DUP and the Tories, together, won the most seats and so are together governing the country. The DUP and the Tories are fully entitled to have the majority in committees. The problem for the DUP is that they've got other stuff to do, they want to get home to sort out power sharing and this creates a problem for the Tory + DUP ruling group. The change to the rules is to sort that out. It does not ignore the result of the election, it's entirely due to the result of the election. Again, if the DUP stop supporting the Tories the government is over, and without the DUP having the seats they have they could not make this change.

> and i've explained why this is a threat to democracy- instead of the party of government being in a minority on the committee, and forced to rely on other parties to prevent the tabled amendments passing, they can quosh the amendments with their own MPs, who are subject to internal party discipline.

Provided that the majority of MPs allow this. The opposition aren't happy with that, sure, but they are outnumbered. Yes, Tory MPs are subject to Tory internal party discipline. The DUP who would otherwise be there are clearly happy with this. This doesn't amount to any threat to democracy, it's still based on the majority of MPs being continually supportive of the government, it's still based on needing a majority of MPs' votes to pass law.

> you might not like the fact that the current parliamentary arithmetic hands the power to disrupt to people you don't like; but that's the outcome of the election. may didn't have to call one, but she did, and the electorate have removed her majority, and deprived her of the right to ram through the bill as she proposed it. to take back that power, which voters removed from her, on the pretext that the opposition will oppose it, is clearly not unlawful if parliament votes for it.

The electorate gave a majority of seats to the DUP plus the Tories. That's the arithmetic that matters, and, unsurprisingly, I'm not unhappy with that. We do not, usually, allow the opposition to hold a majority on committees where they would not hold a majority in Parliament. I don't see why we should now.
Tyler - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> But the democratic bypassing isn't indefensible it just doesn't fit in with what you think should happen.

Did you really mean to write that? We are a democracy.

> If the government doesn't take these measures how long will it take to enshrine present EU law into the UK?
The issue isn't enshrining the laws this is about allowing the govt to change them to what they like.

> If a new government of a different political persuasion is elected they'll be faced with the same dilemma.

tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> But the democratic bypassing isn't indefensible it just doesn't fit in with what you think should happen.

> If the government doesn't take these measures how long will it take to enshrine present EU law into the UK?

It's not a question of enshrining EU law into UK law - that's the easy bit - it's a question of how Government is then allowed to change those laws once they're made UK law. At the moment, the proposal is that Government ministers can make such changes as they wish, without consulting Parliament, thus bypassing any suitable Parliamentary scrutiny and reducing Parliamentary sovereignty to precisely zero.

baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to Tyler:

Yes, I meant to write it, 'democratic bypassing' was the term used by the poster I was replying to.
The government, as far as it's declared, doesn't want to change any existing laws but wants to change the wording of EU laws where there is no UK equivalent.
I don't believe any bill presented to parliament, by any party, that allowed MPs to change any law to whatever they wanted would ever be allowed to proceed.
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:

That's not the governments proposal.
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Neither do a majority of MPs, including labour stalwarts, who voted for the bill to proceed this week.

As has been explained before, there's a long way to go in Parliamentary terms before anything happens - committee stages and the 3rd reading of the Bill are when the Bill is fully scrutinised and debated. There are currently 136 amendments tabled to the Bill, tabled by MPs from all parties. Notably, the former Tory Attorney General Dominic Grieve is among those with amendments, and was he who described the Bill as an “astonishing monstrosity” because of the way it seeks to bypass Parliament.
1
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
> That's not the governments proposal.

Yes it is. These are the so-called Henry VIII powers.
Post edited at 10:06
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:
Yes there's a long way to go and the bill will probably be amended which makes me wonder why people are saying that the government will be able to change any law tomwhatever they want.
You'll have a link that demonstrates that's what they intend to do?
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

Have a look at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/great-repeal-bill-explanation-need-read/
and scroll down to read about Henry VIII clauses
summo on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:

> That said, on this matter, I can't see how you think it is Corbyn causing "unrest"

Corbyn is not doing anything. McDonnell and the unions are back in charge, all over the place with their agendas. Corbyn has used up his lifetime quota of leadership during the 7weeks of election campaigning, he's a spent force.
1
summo on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

> So ? That's the whole point of having a parliament isn't it, there is a balance of power.

Yes, but the SNP don't want that. What they want are problems which they can use to justify another indef vote.

McDonnell and the unions don't care about democracy or Brexit, they want power. Look at the recent union leader elections, most African countries are fairer!
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:

Powers which, according to the government, are to change EU laws and they will be time limited and parliament will need to ensure that the processes are appropriate.
Not quite the change any law to whatever they want scenario.
I suppose it depends how much faith you have in a government.
Or we could keep the normal procedures and endure a legal black hole, that'll be fun
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Powers which, according to the government, are to change EU laws

which have been taken into UK law and are part of our everyday life, such as worker's rights, copyright laws, and a whole host of environmental legislation

> and they will be time limited and parliament will need to ensure that the processes are appropriate.

Parliament may not get to ensure that the processes are appropriate because the committee which decides whether they're appropriate is to be stacked with Tory MPs.

> Not quite the change any law to whatever they want scenario.

Any law which has been taken into UK law which derives from UK law will be subject to the same issue.

> I suppose it depends how much faith you have in a government.

Not a lot. You? It would be wrong whichever party was trying to impose this.

> Or we could keep the normal procedures and endure a legal black hole, that'll be fun

Why a legal black hole?

1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:

Because the EU law needs to be transferred before Brexit.
No transfer, no law = black hole.
Dave Garnett - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> While what you say makes perfect sense it just doesn't fit into the timescale available to the present or future government.

> I am a believer in democracy and parliamentary procedure but don't share your belief in this situation setting a precedent for future power grabs.

> Neither do a majority of MPs, including labour stalwarts, who voted for the bill to proceed this week.

For once, we agree!

I would feel considerably safer having all the European law we currently use moved over en bloc into English and Welsh law (not quite sure what the Scots are doing) on the grounds that, on current showing, nobody's going to get their act together to ever change it.

I don't buy into the power-grabbing conspiracy, I don't think there's a plan of any kind.
RomTheBear on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
> Because the EU law needs to be transferred before Brexit.

And that's fine. It doesn't mean there is any need to give the government the power to change these laws significantly (some of them very important such as fundamental rights, or workers protections), at the stroke if a pen, with next to none parliamentary scrutiny.

Basically the current withdrawal bill means a minority governement takes over legislative power from the commons for the next couple of years.

That really sounds like something Erdogan or Putin would do, I'm not sure why you don't understand the problem with that.
Post edited at 11:42
1
MG - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Because the EU law needs to be transferred before Brexit.

Well if it unambiguously needed, there is no need to stack the committees and change the rules to make it happen. After all, there is a clear majority in the commons in favour of Brexit. Maybe it's not as simple as you think, and maybe dissenting, questioning voices are more important than ever when we are dealing with huge pieces of legislation such as this.

tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Because the EU law needs to be transferred before Brexit.

> No transfer, no law = black hole.

There's nothing difficult about transferring EU law before Brexit. The transfer is fine. The problem is the fact that the Government wants to be able bypass Parliament once the Bill is made into legislation.

No-one is talking about not transferring the laws.
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
Because unlike you I don't see a workable alternative nor do I see a massive conspiracy to grab and keep hold of power.
The government want/need to replace the wording of EU laws which otherwise wouldn't make any sense e.g. Replacing ECJ with Supreme Court.
I think that's not only sensible but a legal necessity.
Nowhere have I read of any intention to change the actual laws using these powers although some laws will obviously be amended or deleted, at leisure, using normal parliamentary procedures after Brexit.

Ian W - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> I would feel considerably safer having all the European law we currently use moved over en bloc into English and Welsh law (not quite sure what the Scots are doing) on the grounds that, on current showing, nobody's going to get their act together to ever change it.

> I don't buy into the power-grabbing conspiracy, I don't think there's a plan of any kind.

And thats what is happening; nobody is disagreeing with the acceptance of all current EU laws (I'm surprised at those in favour of leaving as I thought this is what they were against). What the objection is to, is the change in the requirement for changing what will then be UK law without parliamentary scrutiny. And whilst the intention (we are assured, by those who have consistently, knowingly and blatantly lied throughout the campaign to leave) is to only change the parts referring to the ECJ etc, the power would still lie with the executive, not parliament to change whatever they wish. This is the dangerous part.

And while claims of a power grab might be a bit exaggerated, it leaves us open to future abuse by changing the procedure.
Post edited at 11:56
RomTheBear on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
> Because unlike you I don't see a workable alternative nor do I see a massive conspiracy to grab and keep hold of power.

You really don't get it, do you. It's not about any conspiracy.

> The government want/need to replace the wording of EU laws which otherwise wouldn't make any sense e.g. Replacing ECJ with Supreme Court.

> I think that's not only sensible but a legal necessity.

According to most lawyers in the country, as well as according to the house of lords, they don't need to have as much power without scrutiny as the bill offers to achieve a transfer.

> Nowhere have I read of any intention to change the actual laws using these powers although some laws will obviously be amended or deleted, at leisure, using normal parliamentary procedures after Brexit.

That's where you are frankly deluded and just plainly wrong.
If you give the powers to change those laws significantly, you can bet they'll use it.
That they can be amended or deleted later doesn't really help, repealing them or amending them through parliamentary process later on is some just going to happen or take years, of not decades, parliamentary time is not infinite, some of it can't be undone, a d anyway it won't help, damage of bad laws on businesses and individuals will still have been done even if those are reversed ten years later.
Post edited at 13:11
2
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Yes, they do. They can change the rules, that's within the power of Parliament, I've already agreed that they'd need changing so I'm not sure why you're listing the current rules. I'm aware. DUP and the Tories, together, won the most seats and so are together governing the country.

this is incorrect. the DUP are not governing the country. We have a minority Tory government, supported by the DUP on a confidence and supply basis. The DUP hold no governmental posts, and are not part of a coalition. There is no government majority on the floor of the house, just an agreement not to oppose it on a specified list of matters. This is not a minor, or technical, matter. Its the fundamental reality of the outcome of the election. The rest of your argument falls because this basic premise is incorrect- the DUP are not part of any 'ruling bloc', they are merely agreeing to step aside on certain issues and let government business pass.

and: the purpose of the committee stage is to scrutinise legislation, not to give a final say on its acceptance. the house will vote on the output of the committee, and can strike down any offending parts that emerge from the committee stage. the DUP will vote with the government at this stage, as the C&S agreement states. the proposal to stuff the committee with tories is therefore not necessary in passing the legislation; but what it does do is shut down reasonable scrutiny and review, and prevents parliament exercising one of its fundamental functions.

you may tell yourself that you aren't supporting the undermining of the role of parliament, for partisan gain, by a government that lost the support of the country; but that's exactly what you are doing.



1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
I feel that you've moved into the fantasy world that Mr Juncker seems to inhabit.
You seem to have a tremendous insight not shared by all those MPs, including Labour ones, who voted for the bill to proceed.
1
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
> Nowhere have I read of any intention to change the actual laws using these powers although some laws will obviously be amended or deleted, at leisure, using normal parliamentary procedures after Brexit.

The relevant clause in the Bill reads:
"A Minister of the Crown may by regulations make such provision as the Minister considers appropriate for the purposes of implementing the withdrawal agreement if the Minister considers that such provision should be in force on or before exit day."

As is always the case with the language of legislation, it's not an easy read, but this means precisely that Government ministers can do what they like with the transferred laws, without Parliamentary scrutiny. If a minister wanted to put a red line through a whole swathe of legislation, there would be nothing Parliament could do to stop them.
Post edited at 13:48
1
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> You seem to have a tremendous insight not shared by all those MPs, including Labour ones, who voted for the bill to proceed.

Can I ask why you keep repeating this, when you've acknowledged that the Bill will be amended and have accepted that there is still a lot of Parliamentary work to be done? Passing at the 2nd reading is no guarantee that the Bill will be passed at the 3rd reading, which is when it matters.
1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:
All of which would be worrying if these powers weren't to be limited by time.
Even if this bill passes unamended, which it won't, what laws do you think the government will change?
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:
I repeat it in an attempt to show that some very senior MPs, none if whom are friends of the Tories, think that it's better to allow the bill to proceed.

tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> All of which would be worrying if these powers weren't to be limited by time.

> Even if this bill passes unamended, which it won't, what laws do you think the government will change?

I have no idea what they might change, but a) I have no faith in this Government to do the right thing and b) I believe that Parliament should have the right to scrutinise changes in legislation.

For some people, the referendum was about the assertion of the sovereignty of the British Parliament. This part of the Bill reduces Parliament to helpless spectators.
1
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I repeat it in an attempt to show that some very senior MPs, none if whom are friends of the Tories, think that it's better to allow the bill to proceed.

I give up. I've tried explaining numerous times why the 2nd reading isn't important. I'm obviously failing to make what I think is an important point.
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:

You are making it perfectly lucidly, Tony.

There's none so blind as those that refuse to see...
1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:
Your point seems to be that you don't want the government to take a course of action that, as unpalatable as it may be, is necessary to transfer a huge amount of legislation within a very limited time.
If the government don't get these powers due to amendments or losing the final vote do you have an alternative suggestion?
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> You are making it perfectly lucidly, Tony.

> There's none so blind as those that refuse to see...

Thanks. To be fair, wading through it all isn't trivial, particularly if you don't really know how Parliament works.

One last attempt: Dominic Grieve voted FOR the Repeal Bill. He's a former Tory Attorney-General, he's the one who called the Bill a monstrosity, and he's tabled 16 very significant amendments to the Bill.
1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:
You'll make your point clearer and more convincing if you lose the patronising attitude.
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Your point seems to be that you don't want the government to take a course of action that, as unpalatable as it may be, is necessary to transfer a huge amount of legislation within a very limited time.

It is necessary to transfer the legislation. No one is disputing that.

> If the government don't get these powers due to amendments or losing the final vote do you have an alternative suggestion?

Yes. They go about the transfer of legislation, but do away with the bit that says that Ministers can change legislation without Parliamentary scrutiny. If they do that, most of the opposition to the Bill will disappear.
1
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> You'll make your point clearer and more convincing if you lose the patronising attitude.

I'm sorry, but I've tried to make the same point numerous times. It gets a bit tiresome when the same things keep coming back over and over again.
1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:
I think this proposed bill is one topic we're not going to agree on. Sorry.
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I think this proposed bill is one topic we're not going to agree on. Sorry.

Try to persuade me. Why is it a good thing that the Government wants to do away with the right of Parliament to scrutinise changes to legislation? What's good about the Henry VIII clauses? Don't you believe in the sovereignty of Parliament?
1
RomTheBear on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> You'll make your point clearer and more convincing if you lose the patronising attitude.

And you'll make your point clearer if you were engaging with the argument and made logically argued answers, instead of repeating sophistries over and over.
2
thomasadixon - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> this is incorrect. the DUP are not governing the country. We have a minority Tory government, supported by the DUP on a confidence and supply basis. The DUP hold no governmental posts, and are not part of a coalition. There is no government majority on the floor of the house, just an agreement not to oppose it on a specified list of matters. This is not a minor, or technical, matter. Its the fundamental reality of the outcome of the election. The rest of your argument falls because this basic premise is incorrect- the DUP are not part of any 'ruling bloc', they are merely agreeing to step aside on certain issues and let government business pass.

This is semantics. The Tories and the DUP have an arrangement as otherwise the Tories couldn't govern. That it's confidence and supply rather than a more formal coalition doesn't change that, the Tories still cannot run the country without DUP support so in effect the Tories plus DUP are running the country.

> and: the purpose of the committee stage is to scrutinise legislation, not to give a final say on its acceptance. the house will vote on the output of the committee, and can strike down any offending parts that emerge from the committee stage. the DUP will vote with the government at this stage, as the C&S agreement states. the proposal to stuff the committee with tories is therefore not necessary in passing the legislation; but what it does do is shut down reasonable scrutiny and review, and prevents parliament exercising one of its fundamental functions.

Yes the house can strike down offending parts of the legislation. If that is necessary and now means the legislation no longer makes sense then it goes back to the committee who rewrite. If the opposition want to cause trouble (and very unusually have a majority on the committee) they can then ensure that those offending parts are put back into the legislation. It then goes back to the house who strike it down and we restart. An absolute waste of time (the reason why committees reflect Parliament!), especially when we're in a time sensitive situation.

> you may tell yourself that you aren't supporting the undermining of the role of parliament, for partisan gain, by a government that lost the support of the country; but that's exactly what you are doing.

In response I'd say that you're just being tribal. You're not happy about what the Tories are doing so you will oppose them wherever you can, because you don't like the outcome that they want to achieve. For the reasons I've said - basically that a majority of MPs are still deciding what happens - I don't see that it's role is being undermined.
Post edited at 14:46
2
RomTheBear on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I feel that you've moved into the fantasy world that Mr Juncker seems to inhabit.

Now you're just showing your lack of arguments and inability to answer.

> You seem to have a tremendous insight not shared by all those MPs, including Labour ones, who voted for the bill to proceed.

Never mind that hundreds of amendment have been tabled... You don't even seem to have a clue about the parliamentary process.

1
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> This is semantics. The Tories and the DUP have an arrangement as otherwise the Tories couldn't govern. That it's confidence and supply rather than a more formal coalition doesn't change that, the Tories still cannot run the country without DUP support so in effect the Tories plus DUP are running the country.

It's a bit more than semantics. The DUP voted with Labour yesterday on a vote about NHS pay and student tuition fees, so the relationship between the DUP and the Tories can't be relied on. £1bn well spent.
1
Bob Hughes - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I repeat it in an attempt to show that some very senior MPs, none if whom are friends of the Tories, think that it's better to allow the bill to proceed.

It means that they do not object to "a" withdrawal bill. It doesn't mean that they don't have problems with the specifics of this bill.

Bob Hughes - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Because unlike you I don't see a workable alternative nor do I see a massive conspiracy to grab and keep hold of power.

There doesn't need to be a massive conspiracy.

Remember the 82-year who shouted "nonsense!" at Jack Straw and was ejected from the houses of parliament and detained under the Terrorism Act? I haave no doubt that there was no conspiracy to detain 82-year-olds when the government tabled the Terrorism Bill.

Today's government ministers, who are asking to be allowed to change laws without parliammentary scrutiny, may be the best, most high-minded ministers in the world. Even if that were the case, no-one knows who will succeed them. Checks on the power of government aren't intended to limit the actions of saints.

The reality is that today's ministers are not the best, nor the most high-minded ministers we have had or will ever had. I don't believe this is a conspiracy. But I do believe that given the opportunity, and backed into a political corner, they may well use these powers unwisely.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:
as per Tony's point. this is a conservative administration, with a conservative queen's speech, introducing a conservative programme of legislation. the DUP have no part in developing the programme of legislation, and no government ministers. they have contracted to support the government on a tightly defined list of measures, nothing more. and the government could probably very well proceed without DUP support, as it is vanishingly unlikely that the DUP would vote against the government on any of the areas that the C&S agreement covers, as it would provoke a collapse of the administration, a new general election, and a possible labour government. this was one of the criticisms of the C&S agreement when it was signed- that May had spend a billion pounds and considerable goodwill buying something she would have got for free. its perfectly possible to run a government as a minority administration; the SNP have managed it for most of the last decade in scotland. the case that you make- that the C&S agreement is necessary to allow government to function, is just wrong. your argument may depend on being able to conflate the two parties into a single unit, and so able to exchange roles freely, but that just means that its an invalid argument....

and its also necessary for you to sustain your position to ignore the fact i've posted twice now: the labour party is utterly dependent on Brexit supporters for its parliamentary existence. the sort of intransigence and delaying you describe would lead to its destruction at the hands of an outraged electorate. its a straw man- you need to create a reason to justify what is being proposed, so you invent the spectre of political game playing to the extent of derailing the process. its at odds with the political reality, but without it, you can't offer any reason that this change is needed.

and, add ad hominem to straw man and factual error...

;-)

this is not a tribal position- i accept that the government will get its way, as it should if it can muster enough votes on the floor of the house. the corbyn labour party is not my 'tribe', i dont have one- i've voted for 4 different parties at the last 4 elections, including Tory on one occasion. i object to the manipulation of the rules by one group for their convenience, whoever would do it. that the manipulation is an attack on the power of parliament to discharge its role in scrutinising the executive, by an executive who claims to be acting to protect the powers of parliament, is both ironic and depressing. that the supporters of this dont seem to care about this, or the damage it will do to the wider political culture in this country, is doubly so.
Post edited at 15:35
1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:
I think the present system of introducing legislation works quite well.
If we had a longer time period to transfer EU law into UK law then the proposed bill would be unnecessary.
However, due to Brexit, there is a time limit.
Somebody said that transfering the EU laws was the easy bit but it's not as it contains many references to EU organisations which will no longer be relevant. It is my understanding that these changes are the ones the government wants to make and not changes to the laws themselves.
As there are thousands of pieces of legislation to be examined and most invole nothing more than a name change it would be quicker if they weren't run through the normal process.
If somebody comes up with a way of transfering the legislation within the time frame and without changing the system then that would be the perfect solution.
The amendments to the bill might be the answer.
I'm not a fan of giving any politician more power, quite the contrary, but this problem needs a solution. And soon.
Which is why the Labour MPs who supported the bill did so, in order to move the bill on quickly to as you rightly pointed out several times its more important 3rd reading.
1
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
What's a sophistry?
baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Indeed.
And they see the importance of not holding up the bill but moving it forward to be amended and maybe passed.
thomasadixon - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> your argument may depend on being able to conflate the two parties into a single unit, and so able to exchange roles freely, but that just means that its an invalid argument....

It doesn't. They're not a single unit, and I'm not claiming that they are. Nor is any party really, it's a group of individual MPs working together. A Tory can defect to Labour, it wouldn't make them any less an MP. The Tory MPs and the DUP MPs are, currently, working together. This doesn't mean that they've joined.

> and its also necessary for you to sustain your position to ignore the fact i've posted twice now: the labour party is utterly dependent on Brexit supporters for its parliamentary existence. the sort of intransigence and delaying you describe would lead to its destruction at the hands of an outraged electorate.

No, it's not, it's just that that fact is irrelevant. The labour party under Tony Blair was utterly dependent on voters who were anti-immigration. It was utterly dependent on voters who were very much anti the Iraq war. Did that stop Tony declaring war? No. Did that stop Tony letting in hundreds of thousands from Eastern Europe? No. Other factors meant that Tony kept getting the votes.

> the sort of intransigence and delaying you describe would lead to its destruction at the hands of an outraged electorate.

That's just a judgement call. If done right, and if the PR's done well, it leads to an election that labour win.

The tribe is the remainer tribe. Tell you what though, you stop using daft rhetoric and I'll do the same for you.
Post edited at 15:44
tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> I think the present system of introducing legislation works quite well.

> If we had a longer time period to transfer EU law into UK law then the proposed bill would be unnecessary.

That's not correct. Whatever the time issues, there would need to be a transfer of legislation.

> Somebody said that transfering the EU laws was the easy bit but it's not as it contains many references to EU organisations which will no longer be relevant. It is my understanding that these changes are the ones the government wants to make and not changes to the laws themselves.

But that's not what the Bill says. The Bill says that Minsters can make changes as they see appropriate.

> If somebody comes up with a way of transfering the legislation within the time frame and without changing the system then that would be the perfect solution.

As I've said numerous times, no-one is objecting to the transfer of legislation. The legislation can be transferred perfectly well without any change to the system. There is no need for the Henry VIII clauses.

> I'm not a fan of giving any politician more power, quite the contrary, but this problem needs a solution. And soon.
Which is why the Labour MPs who supported the bill did so, in order to move the bill on quickly to as you rightly pointed out several times its more important 3rd reading.

Well it's nice you've finally acknowledged that it's the 3rd reading that counts. I don't know why you keep banging on about Labour MPs. Some of the most highly-principled opposition to the Bill as currently worded comes from Tory MPs.
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MG - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

It's amazing that your argument against the EU was based on an abstruse minute point about how the Commission works and that it was undemocratic and terrible, yet now you are arguing for proto-facism!
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thomasadixon - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:

> It's a bit more than semantics. The DUP voted with Labour yesterday on a vote about NHS pay and student tuition fees, so the relationship between the DUP and the Tories can't be relied on. £1bn well spent.

As I've said to nmse really. But I'd go further, this is why I don't think that there's a risk to Parliamentary sovereignty, or to democracy. Day after day the Tories have to *keep* DUP support to get legislation through. That never goes away, and the Tories will never be in a position where they can just govern without the support of the majority of MPs in Parliament. Where the Tories try to do stuff the DUP don't like they cannot just force it through (unless MPs from other parties assist, of course).

And yes, as nmse said it's highly unlikely the DUP will go against the Tories as they really do not want Corbyn to be in charge, but that does not mean that the DUP will just give the Tories the right to do everything as they see fit. I don't believe they will (as you've shown).
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tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

I don't know what relevance that has to the Repeal Bill, given that, as I've said, some of the strongest and most highly principled opposition has come from Tories.
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MG - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:

All the supporters of this seem to be (deliberately?) missing the central point, which isn't to do with specific policies or parties but the whole mechanism of parliament and governing. The current setup means that the power in committees roughly replicates the balance of the parties and MPs. If a party has a majority, it gets a majority of committee places, otherwise it doesn't, which seems reasonable. The minority government is trying the change this unilaterally so that it can get legislation through without scrutiny in committees - their argument being that otherwise it would difficult, or time consuming.. It's arbitrary power grab and has obvious slippery slope potential and precedent setting effects and is wrong.
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

but that's not what you claimed Thomas- you said:

The Tories and the DUP have an arrangement as otherwise the Tories couldn't govern

this is just wrong.

the comparison with Blair is of limited value. he had a majority in the hundreds- Corbyn needs to hang onto every supported he has now, and add a couple of million more. and those issues weren't axiomatic the way that brexit has become. and- you ignore what happened next- Blair didnt keep getting the votes- labour's majority was slashed in 2005, he was forced from office, and the slide of labour to a decade of irrelevance began. iraq was a big part of that. getting on the wrong side of your electorate, at the wrong time, can be disastrous.

the argument stands- you need to prove that its likely the misbehaviour you describe would take place, ie mischief making above and beyond reasonable due process. this needs to be based on more than prejudice, a hunch, or 'they would do that, wouldn't they?'. if you have that evidence, then lets see it. otherwise, the justification for this action, on any level, disappears.

the tribe point's the same, however you want to define it. agreeing with people on one issue doesn't mean i'm 'on their team' and back them automatically. i'm arguing that the established procedures, and balance of powers, should be preserved, as its like that for good reason- and that changing that because its inconvenient, is wrong, and stays wrong whoever does it, and for whatever reason. to be honest, that's a good conservative position, i'd have thought- again ironic that its the conservative party that wants to interfere with this. one of the many ironies of this whole thing....



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baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:
When I said there would be no need for the proposed bill I should have stated 'in its current form'.
There will of course have to be a bill to transfer legislation.
But there are something like 7,000 pieces of legislation that need to be scrutinised.
How long will this take if each piece has to go before a committee?
Hence the so called Henry VIII powers.
Do you really think that the government will change laws whenever it feels like it using these powers?
How long would they last as a government given as you say the already existing Tory opposition to this bill?

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:

> All the supporters of this seem to be (deliberately?) missing the central point, which isn't to do with specific policies or parties but the whole mechanism of parliament and governing. The current setup means that the power in committees roughly replicates the balance of the parties and MPs. If a party has a majority, it gets a majority of committee places, otherwise it doesn't, which seems reasonable. The minority government is trying the change this unilaterally so that it can get legislation through without scrutiny in committees - their argument being that otherwise it would difficult, or time consuming.. It's arbitrary power grab and has obvious slippery slope potential and precedent setting effects and is wrong.

this.

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:


> And yes, as nmse said it's highly unlikely the DUP will go against the Tories as they really do not want Corbyn to be in charge, but that does not mean that the DUP will just give the Tories the right to do everything as they see fit. I don't believe they will (as you've shown).

this is exactly the point i'm making, and explains why substituting a DUP MP for a tory on the committee is wrong- because the DUP MP will not just give the Tory the right to do anything they see fit, while the Tory, by defintion will. this is why 'subbing' is not an acceptable process.

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baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
But opponents of the bill need to come up with a workable alternative proposal to transfer this legislation. Unless you think the usual procedure can complete the process in time.
I support, grudgingly, the proposed bill but will happily support a workable alternative proposal.
MG - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> But opponents of the bill need to come up with a workable alternative proposal to transfer this legislation.
No they don't! That's the government's job.
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tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> When I said there would be no need for the proposed bill I should have stated 'in its current form'.

> There will of course have to be a bill to transfer legislation.

> But there are something like 7,000 pieces of legislation that need to be scrutinised.

> How long will this take if each piece has to go before a committee?

No, no one is saying that each piece of legislation needs to be scrutinised by committee.

> Do you really think that the government will change laws whenever it feels like it using these powers?

It's entirely possible. I have little faith in many politicians in Government these days.
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baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to MG:
The government have put forward a solution which some people don't like.
The proposed bill will be amended until it is passable through parliament.
But this is not some thought up out of the blue for no good reason.
Like it or not there is an urgent need to transfer and amend thousands of pieces of legislation in a short time frame.
You might think that the normal parliamentary procedures can cope and the government and me have a different opinion.
Surely from the comfort of your armchair you could put forward at least one idea.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
the alternative is to let parliament do its usual job, as it has for the last several hundred years- scrutinise legislation within the framework it is set

MPs are fully aware that the current framework includes a ticking clock.

they are also aware that it is ticking on their P45s if they are seen to derail this with game playing.

the country has faced crises before, and we've managed with the system as it is. whenever a politician says, ah but this time its different to all the others, we can't trust the established processes, and we have to replace them with ones that bypass the legislature and give the executive more power (but dont worry your little heads, we promise we won't misuse the powers we take), then i feel a chill fall over me.
Post edited at 16:33
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baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to tony:

But at the moment that's what happens to every piece of legislation and why there needs to be some way of speeding up the process.
You could be right about trusting politicians.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:
> You might think that the normal parliamentary procedures can cope and the government and me have a different opinion.

since you dont seem to be particularly informed about what this process involves, i'm not sure that your opinion carries a great deal of weight.

;-P

as to the idea that we should uncritically accept the opinion of a government, any government, that says we should give it more powers, well...
Post edited at 16:36
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baron - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Do you really want to have a pissing competition about who knows most about the parliamentary system and its processes?
You win, I'm out of here, thanks for the debate.
thomasadixon - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> but that's not what you claimed Thomas- you said:
> The Tories and the DUP have an arrangement as otherwise the Tories couldn't govern
> this is just wrong.

How so? If May's queen speech had been voted down would they be governing? If all the legislation they try to pass gets voted down would they be governing? Personally I don't think that they would be. It'd be unsustainable.

> the comparison with Blair is of limited value. he had a majority in the hundreds- Corbyn needs to hang onto every supported he has now, and add a couple of million more. and those issues weren't axiomatic the way that brexit has become. and- you ignore what happened next- Blair didnt keep getting the votes- labour's majority was slashed in 2005, he was forced from office, and the slide of labour to a decade of irrelevance began. iraq was a big part of that. getting on the wrong side of your electorate, at the wrong time, can be disastrous.

The point, which I'm sure you get, is that just because lots of labour supporters also support leaving the EU doesn't mean that they won't still vote labour. Your claim that Labour would never do anything difficult because it'll harm them electorally is just false. Plus bashing the Tories is good for them.

> the argument stands- you need to prove that its likely the misbehaviour you describe would take place, ie mischief making above and beyond reasonable due process. this needs to be based on more than prejudice, a hunch, or 'they would do that, wouldn't they?'. if you have that evidence, then lets see it. otherwise, the justification for this action, on any level, disappears.

I don't see why. The justification is fine based on the risk that they will, not the certainty. Once the risk realises it's too late.
wynaptomos - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> But opponents of the bill need to come up with a workable alternative proposal to transfer this legislation. Unless you think the usual procedure can complete the process in time.

> I support, grudgingly, the proposed bill but will happily support a workable alternative proposal.

How about accepting that to do this thing properly takes time and working with the EU on a realistic timescale for a transition. It is surely obvious that a proper transition of a few years is required. However the government seem to be in thrall to Farage and the other extreme brexiteers in the conservative party who see it as some kind of betrayal and want to leave ASAP, no matter how much damage it does to the country.
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tony on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> But at the moment that's what happens to every piece of legislation and why there needs to be some way of speeding up the process.

No, everyone agrees that the legislation needs to be transferred. The issue at stake, as has been said over and over again, is what happens after it's been transferred - the Bill as it stand gives Government ministers the ability to make any changes they want without parliamentary scrutiny.

So, for example, the Working Time directive sets the hours that can be worked by workers in different job sectors, and sets out the required rest times needed by, for example, lorry drivers, airline pilots, junior doctors and so on. There are sound health and safety reasons why this is a good thing. At the moment, the NHS is struggling to recruit sufficient staff. One way this could be to take NHS workers out of the working time directive. Under the current proposal, Jeremy Hunt could do this at the stroke of a pen, with no further discussion, no parliamentary scrutiny, and no assessment of the health and safety implications for staff and patients. I wouldn't put it past him.

> You could be right about trusting politicians.

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MG - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

The obvious solution is to do it in a sensible timeframe. But as above you are still missing the point. It's not to do with a particular piece of legislation but with the process of governance.
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> How so? If May's queen speech had been voted down would they be governing? If all the legislation they try to pass gets voted down would they be governing? Personally I don't think that they would be. It'd be unsustainable.

because its far from certain that the queen's speech would be voted down. indeed, i submit is vanishingly unlikely it would be. and because minority administrations in other legislatures in the UK have functioned perfectly well.

> The point, which I'm sure you get, is that just because lots of labour supporters also support leaving the EU doesn't mean that they won't still vote labour. Your claim that Labour would never do anything difficult because it'll harm them electorally is just false. Plus bashing the Tories is good for them.

sure- but from where labour are at present, they need to gain a couple of million votes. lots of labour supporters will continue to vote for them, yes- but many of the 'hardest-brexit' heartlands are in labour seats. i dont buy the idea that, if labour wrecks brexit, it will have no significant electoral consequence, as credible, no matter who does the PR. add to that the labout leadership is at best lukewarm publically about the EU, and the leader has a long track record of speaking out against it and was conspicuous by his almost total absence from the referendum campaign, and i can't see any case for saying that labour would deliberately delay passage beyond that needed for reasonable scrutiny. indeed- as we've seen with the high court case- even subjecting brexit related processes to reasonable due process is a dangerous business.

> I don't see why. The justification is fine based on the risk that they will, not the certainty. Once the risk realises it's too late.

an unquantified risk of something is just not a good enough reason to persuade me that we should bypass long established processes, given the cost side of the decision.
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Sep 2017
In reply to baron:

> Do you really want to have a pissing competition about who knows most about the parliamentary system and its processes?

> You win, I'm out of here, thanks for the debate.

no- but the amount that people have had to fill you in on with regard to this is relevant to how much weight we'll give your opinion when you say there is no viable alternative...

cheers for the debate
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thomasadixon - on 15 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> because its far from certain that the queen's speech would be voted down. indeed, i submit is vanishingly unlikely it would be. and because minority administrations in other legislatures in the UK have functioned perfectly well.

I don't disagree, and just after the election I (rare for me) agreed with Ken Clarke's assessment that they should have just operated as a minority government assuming that the DUP would support them. The Tories didn't want to take that risk and so made an agreement with the DUP. I don't think other legislatures in the UK are comparable.

> sure- but from where labour are at present, they need to gain a couple of million votes. lots of labour supporters will continue to vote for them, yes- but many of the 'hardest-brexit' heartlands are in labour seats. i dont buy the idea that, if labour wrecks brexit, it will have no significant electoral consequence, as credible, no matter who does the PR. add to that the labout leadership is at best lukewarm publically about the EU, and the leader has a long track record of speaking out against it and was conspicuous by his almost total absence from the referendum campaign, and i can't see any case for saying that labour would deliberately delay passage beyond that needed for reasonable scrutiny. indeed- as we've seen with the high court case- even subjecting brexit related processes to reasonable due process is a dangerous business.

The party also have a record that flip flops based on what they think will work at any particular time. Their position before the election was vague, then a few days before very clear, and now they're voting against (except for a few dissenters). I don't trust them not to cause trouble for the sake of it, and I think that doing so will go down well with many (NOT opposing the Tories is more of a problem for them!). Dyed in the wool labour voters are (imo, of course) those who are pro-leaving the EU. Losing their votes isn't a big risk, they'll never vote Tory.

> an unquantified risk of something is just not a good enough reason to persuade me that we should bypass long established processes, given the cost side of the decision.

The thing there is that the long established processes aren't established for the current situation. Usually there's a majority government and so that government holds a majority on the committees. When we've had coalitions in the past the two parties have held a majority on the committees. There's never a situation where the opposition holds the majority. The problem is that the DUP, because they're a NI party, because of power sharing, have other responsibilities that rank higher than committees. I see this as a practical solution to that problem, to the weirdness of NI. I don't see that there's this huge cost that needs to be outweighed. As I've said before, exclude NI and the Tories have a majority, with NI the Tories and the DUP have a majority. The committees are to reflect that majority.
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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 15 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:
So we agree that DUP support is not obligatory for the functioning of the government then...

It is indeed an unusual situation we find ourselves in; and it has been made more complex and hazardous by May's botched general election. This addition complication is of her own making though; and I don't feel inclined to support her when she wants to change the rules to help her get out of the hole she dug herself.

The election left her short of an overall majority, and stripped her of the mandate to impose the version of brexit she wanted. She should be trying to seek consensus and common ground. Instead she is intent on changing rules to stifle legitimate debate and challenge.

Invoking the bogeyman of Corbyn was a remarkably counterproductive strategy during the election; I'd say it will prove to be again. The cost side is in the long term damage to the political fabric of the country, setting precedent that if a government doesn't like the rules, it can change them. There is also the wider resentment and alienation this leads to. Far from the swivel eyed Corbynista remoaner it would be convenient to paint me as, I'm exactly the sort of centre ground voter that the Tories need to persuade to support them to take back parliament with a workable majority. But the conduct of May and other senior party figures has utterly alienated me, and will continue to do so as long as they are influential in the party. I'm certain I'm not alone in feeling like this. I didn't feel this about the tories under Cameron and Osborne.

Brexit, and the tories at large, are propped up by a generation who won't be around for ever. The tories may win their battle on this, but if the perception is that they did it by ramming through a version of brexit that doesn't command wide support, bypassing the normal safeguards and balances, and it goes badly, the long term consequences for the tories could be catastrophic. Their brexit, their blame. I'd be very careful what you wish for, if i was a Tory.
Post edited at 13:27
thomasadixon - on 15 Sep 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> So we agree that DUP support is not obligatory for the functioning of the government then...

No, it is necessary, it's just almost definitely going to be there. The alternative for the DUP is that Corbyn gets a chance to rule - and while he might be seen as hard done by to others to the DUP his link with Sinn Fein is going to be extremely important, hence not much of a chance the Tories wouldn't get DUP support.

I personally expect that this sort of detail will be forgotten by the time of the next election. Most people won't even notice it's happened. Most people have little idea about committees, if they've even heard of them. You are politically engaged, as am I, but very few people are overall.

The version of brexit thing is another matter. Jeremy Corbyn set out exactly what leaving the EU means before the last election. He was wonderfully clear, and his version matched mine precisely. He got 40% of the vote on that promise. He said very clearly that leaving the EU means leaving the single market, the customs union, and the ECj. Subject to that I've no idea what remainers want. Cameron and Osborne were pro-EU of course.
1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 15 Sep 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> No, it is necessary, it's just almost definitely going to be there. The alternative for the DUP is that Corbyn gets a chance to rule - and while he might be seen as hard done by to others to the DUP his link with Sinn Fein is going to be extremely important, hence not much of a chance the Tories wouldn't get DUP support.

Yes, we agree. The Tories need support from another party, and in practice the DUP are the ones that are providing this. But they are a separate party with their own priorities, and as has been shown on the floor of the house in the last couple of days, are not afraid to underline this on matters outside the C&S agreement. This underlines the point that replacing a DUP member with a Tory is not a like for like replacement. Yes, they can vote it through and it's legal; but it's still a misuse of parliamentary procedure to secure a majority for one party the electorate didn't give them. Brexit is the most important political issue the country faces, and the DUP took a billion pounds to support the Tories in delivering it. If it was worth a billion then they can make it a priority and turn up for the committee meetings related to it.

> I personally expect that this sort of detail will be forgotten by the time of the next election. Most people won't even notice it's happened. Most people have little idea about committees, if they've even heard of them. You are politically engaged, as am I, but very few people are overall.

It's not just this; it's part of an overall pattern the May administration has for showing a lack of respect for the political institutions of the country; from trying to avoid a vote in parliament to trigger A50, to her delayed and lukewarm rebuke of the Mail for its despicable 'enemies of the people' headline. People might not remember this specific issue; but I think the perception of the Tories as a party which shows disrespect, even contempt, for parliament, the judiciary, due process, political opponents, indeed anyone that doesn't fall into line, is not confined to political anoraks. Her personalised attacks on Corbyn certainly had the opposite effect, and turned many people towards him, particularly younger people forming their first impressions of politics. Once these perceptions stick, they are hard to shift; May knows this, with her 'nasty party ' speech. that she's jeopardising the reputation of the party like this, is further evidence of her total loss of judgement.

And if, as seems likely, there will be difficulties for us as a country after Brexit, her determination to push though a 'hard' Brexit, without collaboration with other parties, leaves her no fig leaf, no one else to blame. All in all, I think there is the potential for this to go very badly wrong for the Tories in the medium term; and that's not something I particularly want to see.

Anyway, we've probably spent enough time on this thread- its been the first I've started that's gone past 200 posts...



Thanks for the interesting debate,

Gregor

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