Never Mind the Brexit
June 25, 2018 6:18 AM   Subscribe

Two days after thousands marched in London for a People's Vote, Bloomberg reports that political insiders helped hedge fund managers make millions by shorting the market over the EU referendum. Security analyst James Patrick adds evidence that more millions were made by betting the opposite way on cryptocurrencies. In Westminster, hardline Tories tell Theresa May to get ready for no-deal, even as evidence piles up that a no-deal Brexit will ground Britain to a halt and that there's no back-up plan for Northern Ireland. One study indicates that Brexit has already slowed UK growth by 2.1%, and is costing the UK government £440 million a week. Brexiters are discovering that the UK already had the best model: EU membership.

James Patrick, a former police officer, warned in the days before the People's Vote march of attempts to foment unrest with a countermarch ending nearby. Fortunately, his warnings appear to have been taken seriously, and a solid police presence helped the march go off peacefully. The organisers estimate that 100,000+ marched, but others estimate that there were twice as many or more. At the pro-Brexit march, meanwhile, a few thousand people carried some suspiciously familiar flags. As Labour frontbenchers defend their no show at the anti-Brexit march, a pro-Corbyn group has launched a drive for a public vote on the final Brexit deal, as marchers themselves ask: where's Jeremy Corbyn?

Speech of the afternoon for me, though, as one of the thousands in Parliament Square that day, was by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, not least for her robust defence of freedom of movement. Can Brexit be turned around in the face of hardline Tory, far-right and left-Lexit resistance, by defending all of the four freedoms and the EU's regulatory role? Are the Tory rebels for real, or are we really going over the cliff?
posted by rory (279 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks very much for pulling this together!
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:19 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


I hope we can turn it around. Brexit and the very thought of leaving Europe turns my stomach. Where is the effective political opposition to the Tories on this? Where indeed is Corbyn?
posted by arcticseal at 6:26 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


TIL there's a hedge fund called Rokos Capital. You've got to wonder how heavily it's invested in AI.
posted by chavenet at 6:29 AM on June 25 [13 favorites]


It's such an odd position for the country to be in. On one hand, there appear to be no likely benefits, either in the short or the long term, of leaving the EU. Even the free-market hard Brexit types generally admit that the short term effects (5 years? 10 years? 20?) will be negative. Increasingly we're seeing the need to roll back restrictions on migration rather than increase them, because of economic need (i.e. we can offset some of the losses due to Brexit by increasing the tax revenue from skilled migrant workers). But on the other hand it would be a 'betrayal' to admit that Brexit is a shockingly bad idea and for most mainstream politicians to act as true representatives and make an argument in support of the national interest. And so here we are, with the one sane option completely off the table, and a load of free-market fantasists and British Empire nostalgics fighting the pilot for the stick.

The past few years could have been spent tackling the real problems the UK faces: changing demographics, the need to establish a better balance between the private and public sectors, policies that improve health and education and reduce crime and inequality, and starting the long process of fixing the environmental catastrophe. But all of this important stuff has been mothballed due to what is effectively a cultural and political DDoS attack.
posted by pipeski at 6:50 AM on June 25 [40 favorites]


Where indeed is Corbyn?

One of Corbyn's virtues, and he does have a decent amount, is his unswerving consistency. It's a quality I actually admire about him, and I often wish I had a little more of that particular brand of steel in my spine.

Occasionally, though, he pays the price for that bit about not swerving. This is one of those occasions, and unfortunately it's something he's evidently decided to treat as a matter of abstract principle, rather than bowing before the abundantly accumulating evidence that Brexit can be nothing other than a social disaster. He's bound himself to the mast of his antipathy to the EU's admittedly rather bloodless and technocratic flavor of neoliberalism, and by god he's going down with the ship.

I share some of his antipathy, to be certain, but this is one of those cases where the perfect has sworn a blood oath to destroy the good. Like I say, Brexit will be a disaster. And what's worse is that, while it will be a disaster at every level and in every way, it will be worst of all for the very people Jeremy Corbyn thinks he's defending by binding himself so closely to his principled stance.

It's electorally foolish — I think a clearly pro-Remain Labour would crush in a general election — but it's also morally foolish. And it's one of the biggest reservations I have with the thought of JC as PM, which is a notion I'd otherwise greet with a fair amount of enthusiasm.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:01 AM on June 25 [70 favorites]


On one hand, there appear to be no likely benefits, either in the short or the long term, of leaving the EU

Am I correct in assuming a bunch of politically connected rich people will benefit by relieving a suddenly distressed country of most of its assets?

God I am rooting for you guys. It feels like we were attacked by the same assholes, and, aside from not wanting to watch a country I once lived in fall off a cliff, I also REALLY want to watch you punch those assholes right in the dick.

Idk I don’t want to suck up the oxygen in this thread being all American, so just...solidarity. And it looks like the side of Good and Sanity is picking up steam. Good on you.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:03 AM on June 25 [36 favorites]


Brexit has already slowed UK growth by 2.1%, and is costing the UK government £440 million a week.

WE SEND THE EU £350 MILLION A WEEK. LET'S FUCK OUR NHS INSTEAD AND PISS AWAY THAT AMOUNT PLUS 90 MILLION QUID.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:04 AM on June 25 [16 favorites]


And it looks like the side of Good and Sanity is picking up steam.

If only by default.

I also REALLY want to watch you punch those assholes right in the dick.

My lord, if there's anyone who needs a double, just a couple of rounds of knuckles beneath the buckle, it's Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:06 AM on June 25 [20 favorites]


The hedge fund story is big news, although I'm not sure it adds much to the case against the 2016 referendum when we already have evidence of Cambridge Analytica dodginess, collusion among Leave campaigns, and Russian interference. None of that seems to have shifted the "you lost, get over it" brigade, so I doubt this will either. Maybe it will sway some soft Leavers, though.

One of the more interesting links here for me was the piece on EU regulation, which highlights a contradiction at the heart of the sovereignty debate: "staggeringly high rates of popular support in the UK for European levels of regulation [of] between 70-80%".

Another was the piece on UK non-preparedness for a hard Irish border: "Even if we take the two-year transition period into account, there is still not enough time to design, build and implement an entirely new customs regime and associated infrastructure on 206 crossing points by the 2020 deadline." One comment on that page points out an obvious implication: "if there is a border it will be at the ports...only 2 of them not 208 and the infrastructure there is largely in place. WTO rules require that the UK controls that border and they have done nothing, leaving only one place it can go...on the sea. Sorry Arlene." Will the DUP topple May's minority government to prevent a sea border? Who knows.
posted by rory at 7:06 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


It feels like we were attacked by the same assholes

That's because it's looking like that's true: Britain Has a Russia Collusion Scandal Now. It Looks Exactly Like Trump’s. (NYMag)
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:08 AM on June 25 [36 favorites]


> Even the free-market hard Brexit types generally admit that the short term effects (5 years? 10 years? 20?) will be negative.

Are they, now? As an outsider (Canadian), that's not the impression I got of the pro-Brexit messaging before the referendum, the tone and content of which brought to mind Homer Simpson in the Land of Chocolate, only with money.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:08 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


As I understand it (and I admit I don't really have a full understanding) Corbyn isn't responsible for Labour policy. He actually cannot make policy on Brexit. The NEC sets policy.

That's not to say he doesn't have influence, but he certainly doesn't have final say.
That's why Labour voted to renew Trident despite Corbyn's number one thing being "No nuclear weapons".

That's what makes all the "Dear Leader" authoritarian memes so absurd. Corbyn seems to value (above all else) democratic decision making. He won't (and can't?) overule the NEC and would probably find himself bound by the referendum despite it being a completely crooked mess.

From 2015:
“I don’t think we can go on having policy made by the leader, shadow cabinet, or parliamentary Labour party. It’s got to go much wider. Party members need to be more enfranchised. Whoever is elected will have a mandate from a large membership.”

That's not to say that he couldn't show a bit more willing re: remaining of course.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:18 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


I hope we can turn it around.

There is no way to turn it around before it happens. To preempt calls to apply the brakes, our parliamentarians (under coercion from the executive branch) have torn the brakes out of the moving vehicle and thrown them out the window. And to turn it around now would require a majority agreement on a course of action; the default no-op is No Deal.

Having said that, there probably will be a turnaround of some sort, after the inevitable humanitarian catastrophe that follows a no-deal Hard (Br|L)exit. Once the Red Cross is airlifting food rations and medicines, and blue-helmeted aid workers are distributing them to desperate scrums of swollen-bellied, hollow-eyed children named Liam and Kayleigh, hopefully someone will come up with some kind of resolution, and tell the Farages of this world to fuck off to the Caymans to spend more time with their loot. Perhaps then, within a generation, surviving Britain will vote by a resounding margin to rejoin the EU with extreme prejudice, adopting everything—the Euro, Schengen, a Roman-civil-law-based legal system, round-pinned electrical plugs, driving on the right, even 500ml pints of beer—as the formerly patriotic alternatives seem as distasteful as making a fuss about German cultural heritage did in 1949.
posted by acb at 7:18 AM on June 25 [12 favorites]


that's not the impression I got of the pro-Brexit messaging before the referendum

That was an age ago in Brexit politics, and most of the lies told at the time have been debunked. There really aren't any (credible) voices stating anything more than hypothetical future benefits these days.
posted by pipeski at 7:21 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I'm half wondering whether there's any link from Russia to Corbyn or any of his lieutenants (Len McCluskey, for example). I very much doubt he's a good enough actor to have a billion in Gazprom shares offshore, or even a transparent puppet like Jill Stein, though perhaps some GRU colonel who specialises in retaining and cultivating left-leaning useful idiots who still carry a torch for Lenin's Beautiful Dream has been running agents whose purpose is to guide him onto a course beneficial to the Kremlin.
posted by acb at 7:22 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


As I understand it (and I admit I don't really have a full understanding) Corbyn isn't responsible for Labour policy. He actually cannot make policy on Brexit. The NEC sets policy.

This is true.

That's not to say that he couldn't show a bit more willing re: remaining of course.


And so is this. What was it he said on the eve of destruction? That he was "seven out of ten" on the EU? That's a surefire way to GOTV, Jez.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:22 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


As to where Corbyn physically was, according to Twitter, he was at refugee camps in Jordan, rather than supporting an organisation that bears a strong portion of the responsibility for the drowning of thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 7:22 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


I think a clearly pro-Remain Labour would crush in a general election

Bafflingly, so would a pro-remain Conservative party. Lets say TM falls and new Con leadership election. A Tory leadership candidate who vowed to junk the referendum result could basically guarantee victory in next general election as they can deliver many Labour voters and many Conservative voters. It's would be next level chicanery from the Tories but if say Phil Hammond threw his hat in the ring and said 'Lets call the whole thing off' who wouldn't vote for him?
posted by Damienmce at 7:22 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


I support the 7 out of 10 line. It was one of the more persuasive lines to me.
Acknowledgement that the EU isn't perfect, but we should stay anyway and reform.
It seemed like a reasonable and proportionate opinion in a way that 10/10 wouldn't have done.

I did see a theory somewhere that the tories would drop TM and do a full pivot to softest brexit leaving Labour with the hard line brexiteers and sweep up 90% of the electorate. Seemed outlandish at the time, but who knows.
It would just take Mogg being dramatically humiliated and the rest of the ERG would probably lose enough influence.
As seen in the Heathrow vote Johnson will do whatever self-serving thing is available and would suddenly come out as secretly remain all along.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:28 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


Let's say I'm completely ignorant of how politics and the law work in the UK (because, y'know, I truly am)...What, exactly, would happen if the government just up and decided "Nope. We aren't leaving." and ended Brexit? Would most of the nation breathe a collective sigh of relief while police and military battle far-right groups in the streets? Something far worse?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:28 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


If Brexit ended, I'd expect the EU to add additional requirements for the UK to fill in order to be allowed to remain.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:32 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


I was in Northern Ireland last week and watched a really interesting RTÉ documentary about Brexit and the practical effects it will have on Ireland. They gave the example of the cheese industry, and showed an Irish company producing large blocks of cheese, which are then shipped in bulk to a factory in Leek, Staffordshire and packaged up as various popular brands like Pilgrim's Choice. The operator of the factories said that in the event of a hard border between Ireland and the UK, it will close with hundreds of jobs gone on both sides. That's just one fairly small factory in one sector - everything is so interlinked now that it is very concerning.

The border question seems impossible to resolve. The UK government have promised the EU and the Irish government that there will be no border infrastructure on the island of Ireland. The UK government have also promised the DUP that there will be no border in the Irish Sea and NI will be subject to exactly the same customs and regulations as the rest of the UK. So where will the border, which has to exist if we're not in the single market/customs union, actually be?

Literally everyone I spoke to in NI regarding the subject said the same thing - if there's a border, we're fucked.
posted by winterhill at 7:33 AM on June 25 [15 favorites]


Let's say I'm completely ignorant of how politics and the law work in the UK (because, y'know, I truly am)...What, exactly, would happen if the government just up and decided "Nope. We aren't leaving." and ended Brexit?

The DUP would immediately join Labor in a vote of no confidence and collapse the government resulting in snap elections. What happens next is anyone's guess.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:33 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


It gets a bit tricky because a ton of Brexit stuff has been a power grab by the executive attempting to do a bit of an end run around both commons and lords. But if we treat government/parliament/etc. as a black box and say they all just said we 'aint gonna do brexit no more...

I think the vast majority of Pro_Brexit types are stroppy gammon who are in no shape to do much except tut loudly but there are probably some very angry hardline types who've been emboldened by all this who genuinely would kick off. To what extent I don't know.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:34 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


What, exactly, would happen if the government just up and decided "Nope. We aren't leaving." and ended Brexit?

The problem is that they can't end Brexit without getting an agreement from all EU member states to withdraw Article 50 (which, for one, will only be given if they're certain that this isn't a negotiating feint, and that Article 50 will not be invoked when the UK is in a better position). They may also need to pass local legislation in Westminster. In short, it's a process that's easily derailed: any doubt about Britain's change of heart, any prospect of Corbyn or Rees-Mogg or anyone else steering us back off the cliff, and it's not happening.

If you think of it as a ship, the rudder's broken and it's heading for the abyss. The crew could fix the rudder, but a two-figure percentage of the crew are encamped around it with their cutlasses to prevent any such attempt to sabotage their glorious suicide mission.
posted by acb at 7:36 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


On one hand, there appear to be no likely benefits, either in the short or the long term, of leaving the EU.

Voting for it made idiots feel good. What about that?
posted by thelonius at 7:36 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


gammon
I really don't like this term. I'm someone who turns fairly red when the weather gets hot, and my skin often has a mottled look. I'm relatively progressive and I'm not in favour of Brexit. I don't feel that anyone's physical appearance has anything to do with their political views - it's a really rubbish insult.
posted by winterhill at 7:37 AM on June 25 [12 favorites]


Would most of the nation breathe a collective sigh of relief while police and military battle far-right groups in the streets?

This, I suspect. Those links I included about the pro-Brexit march are from the Twitter account of an academic researcher on football fans, who appears to have been an impartial observer there. He/she captured some snippets of audio that would get anyone's anti-fascist Spidey sense tingling—so, yeah, the far-right groups are out there. But they got a few thousand to turn out, while the People's Vote march got 50 to 100 times as many, who were all pretty well-behaved.

I had seen the warnings and was prepared for the worst (my 11-year-old son had his phone with him, and we'd identified the streets off to the left of Whitehall that would get us down to the Thames and/or onto Westminster Bridge if it all kicked off), but as it happened the "worst" was his gleeful chanting of "Bollocks to Brexit"* and pointing out approvingly the placards visualising Brexit as a pile of shit. Which, y'know, I could hardly fault him for.

*Popular chant and sticker on the day, hence this post's title.
posted by rory at 7:46 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


The most popular chant of the day, from what I heard, was “Where's Je-re-my Cor-byn”, to the tune of Seven Nation Army. I've also heard it as “Sack Jeremy Corbyn”, a sentiment that I, as an Islington North constituent, don't entirely disagree with.

Another topical variant, for those who have been following Carole Cadwalader's reporting, may as well be “Where's Vla-di-mir Pu-tin”
posted by acb at 7:59 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


The DUP would immediately join Labor in a vote of no confidence and collapse the government resulting in snap elections. What happens next is anyone's guess.

I wouldn't bet on it. DUP would rather chew their own legs off than see a Corbyn government.

Personally I'd bet on a swift knife in the back for May and a new pro-Brexit sacrificial PM (not one of the big names, who are not quite that dumb).
posted by Leon at 8:02 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


The problem is that they can't end Brexit without getting an agreement from all EU member states to withdraw Article 50

That has not actually been tested yet, as far as I know?
posted by Leon at 8:05 AM on June 25


I've also heard it as “Sack Jeremy Corbyn”

It was definitely "where's" whenever I heard it, as in "why isn't he here with us?"—a riff on the Seven Nation Army "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" chant at Labour rallies.

The most popular chants were that one, "Bollocks to Brexit", and the Lib Dems chanting "Exit Brexit". Also the occasional formless wave of loud roars and whistles.
posted by rory at 8:11 AM on June 25


The hedge fund story is big news, although I'm not sure it adds much to the case against the 2016 referendum when we already have evidence of Cambridge Analytica dodginess, collusion among Leave campaigns, and Russian interference.

I optimistically think that the laws against insider trading could have slightly sharper teeth than those protecting electoral manipulation. The mechanism of having private polling companies which tell the media one thing (for free) but then make a profit by telling the truth to to hedge funds - so that everybody can get their shorts in on the cheap - is also one which is much better revealed -(since the same tactic appears to have been used in the Scottish Independence referendum of 2014 and would surely be used again - in fact may be used by those now pushing for "no deal"). The fact that neither of these 2 referenda had exist polls that would have given a reliable result as soon as the ballots closed - seems very suspicious to me in this regard.
posted by rongorongo at 8:16 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


re Gammon: it's a really rubbish insult.

Fair enough. Happy to replace with "aged 50ish middle class entitled racists"
I was using it more as a group signifier than an insult regarding physical appearance, but will happily withdraw it.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:28 AM on June 25 [11 favorites]


On one hand, there appear to be no likely benefits, either in the short or the long term, of leaving the EU

I was backpacking the CT/CDT last year, and one of my roommates at the Leadville Hostel was a Brit. We had a nice dinner together and Brexit came up. He was staunchly in favor of it, because "It's bullshit that some politician I never voted for in France or Poland should have tell our country what to do".

I pointed out that he doesn't get to elect politicians from Scotland or Wales or whatever either and he replied that that was also bullshit and that all governments should be eliminated. At that point, I left the conversation to call my wife. Again. He was nuts.

Also, the last time Britain left a European Union, they spent several centuries getting marauded by the Swedes and the French.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:02 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


"It's bullshit that some politician I never voted for in France or Poland should have tell our country what to do".

It's also nonsense because we do get to vote for the UK's MEPs.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:06 AM on June 25 [13 favorites]


Also, the last time Britain left a European Union, they spent several centuries getting marauded by the Swedes and the French.

Brexit: The worst thing to happen to Britain since Magnus Maximus withdrew the Legions in 383.

Even though no on knew it at the time, it was all down hill after that for the next millennium as the trade links to the continent started to fray. The island slipped almost all the way back to the Stone Age.
posted by jmauro at 9:17 AM on June 25 [11 favorites]


It's also nonsense because we do get to vote for the UK's MEPs.

I think the point is that the sensible people of Poland and France can gang up on the UK to force them to do shit like fireproof flammable things.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 9:32 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


Brexit was not a rational decision based on an understanding of the nature of the EU, and its cheerleaders remain stubbonly unmoored from reality.
Business leaders have been further angered by reports that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, allegedly responded to a question about companies’ Brexit concerns at a diplomatic reception this month by saying: “Fuck business.”
As businesses head for the doors, the response from the government has been to claim that Airbus, BMW, etc are making empty threats, rather than making entirely rational decisions on the basis of the high risk that their products (e.g. very expensive aeroplane wings) will instantly become un-sellable in Europe next April, assuming they can still get the parts to make them at all. Boris's reaction - which is pretty eyebrow raising for a senior Tory politician - is pretty good evidence of Alex Harrowell's Eccentric Billionaire Theory of Politics. (which I also posted in one of the previous Brexit threads; I think its super insightful in understanding why businesses haven't been able to put their foot down and request some sanity).

Having said that, there probably will be a turnaround of some sort, after the inevitable humanitarian catastrophe that follows a no-deal Hard (Br|L)exit.

I've never worked in logistics, but from my understand supply chains are quite fragile and sensitive to e.g. a complete change in the relationship with your largest trading partner. Witness the KFC disaster when they switched their domestic supplier. Now imagine that happening to every business in the UK simultaneously, along with port gridlock etc. This is where the fingers-in-ears school of consequence denialism is going to cause severe pain in the short-term, in the increasingly likely event of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking for myself, I'm going to be visiting the UK relatively soon, and I'll be buying a couple of weeks' worth of canned food, bottled water and toilet paper and discreetly leaving the supplies in my parents' cellar.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 10:13 AM on June 25 [11 favorites]


(For Americans and others not deprived of their chikn bukkits by supply-chain fuckery: the KFC disaster.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:35 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


The last few days of politicians telling business to shut up about the negative effects of Brexit are deliciously ironic given how the Tories (and, well, everyone else) encouraged businesses to explain just how damaging they thought Scottish independence would be. But of course it's inappropriate to do that when it comes to Brexit.
posted by adrianhon at 11:17 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


Oh God, now I have disaster planning to do. So, does anyone have a sensible source of prepper information for surviving, say, a 3 month disruption to food chains. (longer than 3 and the country is essentially fucked so baked beans in the garage are immaterial).
posted by epo at 11:29 AM on June 25


UKIP goes full nazi? Paul Joseph Watson, Mark Meechan aka Count Dankula, and Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of Akkad have all just joined up.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:54 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


on Brexit Prepping: it's sensible to have a store of shelf-stable food, water, and basic first-aid items even when your country isn't an island in the middle of doing something very stupid to its basic trade agreements, in case of natural disasters or similar. If you don't already have one, build a home first-aid kit. If you don't already have basics, this list isn't a bad framework, but feel free to up the quantities a bit. Make sure to keep a supply of rubbing alcohol, 3% hydrogen peroxide, bandages and splint supplies, soap, hand sanitiser, and toilet paper on hand, as well, plus any other hygiene supplies your household depends upon (pads/tampons, diapers, whatever applies). Plus toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo!

If you or anyone in your family depend on medications, keep whatever extra supply your doctor / NHS will let you have -- see if you can fill three months' at a time so you have what you need on-hand. I wouldn't bother with things like antibiotics.

Don't forget about your pets! Make sure you keep a goodly supply of their food on-hand.

Here's a Britain-specific link to a series of brief interviews with people prepping for Brexit

Don't bother with freeze-dried foods and don't bother hoarding canned goods; just try to keep a well-stocked pantry of basic things you'd be happy to eat anyway, your normal basics, and just cycle them into your meals to keep the supply fresh. (Replace them after, of course!) Dry goods like lentils, rice, grains, and beans will keep forever, and won't take up much space; repack them into glass or plastic containers so they stay fresher. Dry pasta is good as well. You can stick flour in your freezer in an airtight container; it'll keep pretty much indefinitely. Simple basics like spices, canned tomatoes, tuna, olives or capers, and cooking oil are also good to have on hand. Again, you don't have to go wild; Brexit doesn't seem likely to provoke a full-on Venezuela-type crisis. If you do want something a little more substantial, this three-month plan may serve you well (and you can tailor it to your particular family needs).

I don't imagine water supply will be an issue, but it's never a bad idea to keep bottled water on hand (gallon per person per day) in case of a more acute disaster, and you might also keep some LifeStraws on hand for something more dire.
posted by halation at 12:20 PM on June 25 [15 favorites]


Prepping for a three month disruption for food is pretty simple-- just book a holiday in an affordable foreign country and watch in horror from afar.
The report, prepared last month for the so-called Inter-Ministerial Group on Preparedness by the Brexit, health and transport departments, visualizes three scenarios for a no-deal Brexit — a mild one, a severe one and one dubbed “Armageddon.” In the second scenario, “the port of Dover will collapse on day one. The supermarkets in Cornwall and Scotland will run out of food within a couple of days, and hospitals will run out of medicines within two weeks,” a “source” told the Times, adding that after a fortnight, “we would be running out of petrol as well.”
So, even in the not worst case scenario, the ports stop working on day one.

I'm honestly just at a loss for it all: the Irish border, the surveys that seem to suggest that the majority would rather go forward with Brexit, even if it meant losing Scotland, N.I and Wales in the process. Which seems plausible, if the SNP just keep a little quiet (not that they're allowed to talk...), then when Brexit happens, a vote for independence seems a lot more likely.

And the whole "TECHNOLOGY!" will solve the border problem-- uhuh. So, a country level, best-in-the-world, no disruption when compared to an open border, delivered by... April 2019. And no-ones actually put anything out to tender yet, because no-ones defined anything yet. April. APRIL.

It's like we're driving in a car towards a cliff, and the conservatives are saying--- trust us! It's all fine, the car needed a clean, there's water at the bottom of the cliff, it's all good! Labour's almost silently grumbling and saying 'do you mind awfully if we could swerve a little to the right and hit that tree instead?' while the sane people are just screaming 'Just press the damned brakes and get out of the car'.
posted by Static Vagabond at 12:29 PM on June 25 [19 favorites]


Brexit: this poll reveals a sad truth about Britain and Northern Ireland - "Recent polling from Conservative peer Michael Ashcroft suggests that two-thirds of pro-Brexit voters would rather leave the Customs Union than avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland, and that six out of ten people surveyed “would not mind either way” if Northern Ireland voted to leave the UK."

How has opinion in Northern Ireland on the border question changed since the Brexit referendum?

Brexit: Two years on, the Irish dilemma remains as intractable as ever
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:56 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Brexit has sobered up the anti-EU voices here dramatically. I even heard one life- long anti EU campaigner claim he had never wanted to leave the EU. Which leads to my question, why are brexiteers still so cocky? Do they not get what is going to happen?
posted by mumimor at 2:30 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Which leads to my question, why are brexiteers still so cocky? Do they not get what is going to happen?

Backing down is a public failure. Not backing down means the possibility that they can blame the car crash on Brexit not having been done as they would have done it. Only one means admitting error, so there it is. It is the course of irresponsible fools, but so was Brexit in general.
posted by jaduncan at 2:35 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Those Brexiteers in positions of power really don't care. It's the excitement of betting everything on a roll of the dice (when you know that someone else will be picking up the tab). We're in the era of no truth, no shame, no responsibility. A political career is just a step you take on the way to a better-paid position at a think tank or on a company board.
posted by pipeski at 2:37 PM on June 25 [8 favorites]


Which leads to my question, why are brexiteers still so cocky? Do they not get what is going to happen?

The elite among them are likely hoping the worst will happen, since abject misery is the very condition in which their actual goals can most easily be achieved. Cf. the 1930s.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:39 PM on June 25 [8 favorites]


My lord, if there's anyone who needs a double, just a couple of rounds of knuckles beneath the buckle, it's Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Surely, "I punched Boris in the Johnson / I punched Nigel Farage, in the motherfucking diiiiiicckkk"?
posted by Pink Frost at 3:14 PM on June 25 [4 favorites]


'No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die.'
posted by Sebmojo at 3:19 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Which leads to my question, why are brexiteers still so cocky? Do they not get what is going to happen?

The decently-sized fish decided they'd have better eating, and fewer competitors to worry about, in a smaller pond. The minnow Brexiteers are fools. (That hedge fund revelation is not so surprising. Very rich people have a far easier time making and keeping money in uncertain times than the rest of us do.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 3:39 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


I know personally a lot of people who voted Remain, and more (primarily though not exclusively via work) who voted Exit Ensued By The Bear. I've been snowed under at work recently, lost track of people, lost track of the date and the first I knew of the march on Saturday was when I saw it on the news. Regardless of its merits and regardless of the closeness of the vote I can't help feeling that the Remain argument is lost. No-one with any authority and recognition is willing to stand up for it, Dominic Grieve or Anna Soubry are essentially unknown outside Westminster-following circles. Nearly everyone on the Labour front bench (this week) except probably Diane Abbot is a nobody, even the ongoing survivors like Emily Thornberry. Keir Starmer means nothing to no-one (excuse double negative). I don't even know their personal positions on Brexit, when it comes to it.

Who the fuck is there to stand up and say the obvious, i.e. "Look, this is a seriously bad idea and if you want to give politicians a kick in the balls then here they are, but do you really want to kick your own and your children's balls too?"

What about the seatless and doubtless unwilling erstwhile Brownite (so theoretically not too New Labour, although he doubtless reads as super Blairite to newer voters) Ed Gangnam Balls. Whose position on Brexit I don't even know. So why did I even bother typing this?

Is there any way to give the Tory party to Boris (as opposed to son-of-a-Times-columnist Mogg) without handing over the UK's entire future too? We're well past the point where palatable solutions are an option.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:43 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


I want to fucking give up because I don't know how to make it better.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:44 PM on June 25


In America, we have a saying: "You Can't Fix Stupid"...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 8:38 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


By the time we are talking seriously about stockpiling tins, it is time to consider that the risk of Brexit going ahead - and going ahead with no kind of deal - is becoming something that has a looking inevitability.

Here in Scotland about 2/3s of us decided that heading towards a probable iceberg would not be a good idea and - thanks to a vote by the Scottish parliament - the electorate is now standing by a lifeboat labelled "independence". Whether or not we choose to try to launch the lifeboat - whether the boat will be launch-able, and when we decide to make our move - are all uncertainties. But a sudden and unpredictable burst of activity on this front seems more likely by the week.

For "Yes/Remain" voters - the option to leave is obvious: a choice in favour of safety, prosperity and self-determination. The "No/Remain" camp comprise many who have been more cautious of change - including large business interests and those on the political right - they are going to wait nervously till the last possible minute in the hope that Brexit is averted - but many will choose a path of escape. The "Yes/Leave" and "No/Leave" Brexiters have to consider their priorities; the loyalty of many to this cause has been tested as the reality of the Brexit deal becomes more apparent.

The natural force in favour of the UK union in Scotland has always been the "Conservative and Unionist" party who now form the Westminster government. They will be the ones left imploring us not to go, arguing why staying is a good idea or telling us "now is not the right time". All these arguments will be tough ones to make - and there is an additional current irony in that the majority of English supporters of the party would rather lose Scotland (and most certainly Northern Ireland) to Brexit rather than back out of it.

The situation here is also quite grim - but not maybe so hopeless. I'll also be stockpiling tins. But maybe popcorn too.
posted by rongorongo at 10:56 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


(Further context to the situation in Scotland: Lesley Riddoch's article from yesterday - "Brexit is pushing us to Independence")
posted by rongorongo at 11:36 PM on June 25


The thing that worries me is during the next recession. Who do the media, politicians and public blame once Brussels can no longer be?
It's been such a default knee jerk reaction for decades.

I'm actually with Corbyn on the 7/10 pro EU. But every available alternative struggles to get 3/10. Including Labour's Job's First Brexit.

I can't help but feel a lot of pro-Brexit types refuse to accept the UK as just one voice in a world of many.
posted by 92_elements at 12:44 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


The thing that worries me is during the next recession. Who do the media, politicians and public blame once Brussels can no longer be?
It's been such a default knee jerk reaction for decades.


They'll just double down on blaming poor people for their own immiseration of course. Or they'll blame Europe for 'forcing' a no deal Brexit by being unreasonable. Or something. Whatever they say it will be tedious, untrue and self-serving.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:56 AM on June 26 [5 favorites]


As well as blaming Europe I suspect they'll blame the enemy within. Brexit would have worked, but it was sabotaged by hateful Remoaners, will be the line. There's enough of that already happening, after all.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:29 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


There's a kind of global convergence happening and it feels like the US and UK are trying to become more like Australia, while Australia is trying to become more like the US and UK.

I can kind of see a possible justification for Brexit: if the UK wants to pursue a more Australia-like stance in the world - a "merit" based immigration policy based on how well educated (code for rich) you are which ensures that migration brings in people who are on average better educated and likely to earn higher incomes than the average - basically, pulling the average up. This is contrast to the typical migration pattern in the rest of the world, where people tend to want to migrate "upwards". Of course there are exceptionally highly educated migrants but they tend to be the exception rather than the norm. They also probably look at Australia and see a country which doesn't belong to any trading bloc and seems to be doing fine.

Even the US, escalating towards the shockingly draconian policy of indefinite detention of children at the border, is merely doing something Australia has been doing for years. The difference is, in the US, this is a point of major conflict between both parties. In Australia, the indefinite detention of migrants is actually one of the only points both sides of government can agree on...

On the other hand... Australia started out with the White Australia policy that prevented colored migration with the explicit aim of preserving the land for the British race, and this policy slowly moderated over the years becoming more in line with other countries being more tolerant of other races.

From an economic point of view, it's not about the "end state" it's about the transition and how fast you get there. A country can be prosperous within a union and without - it's just that a rapid, unplanned transition incurs huge frictional costs and suffering. It's like the bankruptcy of a company: the goal isn't that "no firm goes bankrupt" the goal is that the company exits in an orderly fashion while fulfilling all its obligations to its stakeholders. Am not sure if it's even possible to have an orderly Brexit but even if there was, this is certainly not what we're seeing now, with a rapid timeline and next to no planning.
posted by xdvesper at 1:33 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Err... what?

"They also probably look at Australia and see a country which doesn't belong to any trading bloc and seems to be doing fine."

Apart from Australia's membership of APEC, which includes US, China, Japan, and South Korea. And the Cairns group. And free trade agreements with China, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, US, Chile, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Malaysia. And regulatory harmonisation with NZ on food safety and a heap of other stuff.

No country stands on its own, even at the end of the world. So for the UK to try to do the same is sheer idiocy.
posted by happyinmotion at 3:15 AM on June 26 [17 favorites]


I've never worked in logistics, but from my understand supply chains are quite fragile and sensitive to e.g. a complete change in the relationship with your largest trading partner.

Me neither, but one of the first things I learned when I started working (for a manufacturing company about 30 years ago) was about just-in-time supply chains, and to me, the impact of any kind of border control on current cross-EU supply chains was pretty obvious. I'm just surprised it's taken so long for this issue to get any visibility.

A good overview of how this works, from a real-life van driver here.

Originally found through James O'Brien's twitter feed, which is a pretty good antidote to loony Brexit nonsense.
posted by daveje at 3:42 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


It's odd, I find Jeremery Corbyn pro brexit. Although he's supremely reliable in other areas (Defence/War, Human Rights, GLBT issues etc), his voting and absences on EU things baffles me, Hansard, especially for someone with such a long history of being a party rebel. Yet now he toes the NEC line by and large.

I sometimes feel like I'm missing something with regards to him, perhaps he favours the democratic process over any personally held beliefs or those of his constituents, considering Islington voted some 75% remain. Which is fine, he clearly personally accepts the result of the non-binding referendumb as a binding vote and the 'will of the people'. I can't accept it; and I will do everything I can to not accept it.

Still preferable to May's lot though and their tub thumping idiocy.
posted by diziet at 5:06 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


So this is my take. Corbyn is pro-Brexit because he wants to establish a Venezuela-like state.

He'd like to nationalise everything. People have pointed out to him that that is perfectly possible within EU rules. But they are misunderstanding him. He doesn't want to just nationalize. He wants to 'sieze the means of production', grab capital without compensation - something definitely not allowed within EU rules.

If true, this is terrifying for Britain. Both parties want to dismantle the state and both see that leaving the EU is a necessary prerequisite to this. So it is Singapore or Venezuela. Neither are considered great places to live by the majority of their populace.
posted by vacapinta at 5:49 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


That sounds like a Daily Mail headline, not a likely outcome. Corbyn is a leftie, but he’s also a democrat.

I think we have a lot more to fear from the literal and readily apparent lunacy of the Etonians driving us off a cliff in the service of dreams of a dead Empire than the theoretical (and as far as I can see, unwarranted) despotism of Jeremy Corbyn.

Ineffectual and rigidly glued to his principles he may be, but he is not the priority threat. Or even on the list, frankly. To claim otherwise right now is false equivalence ‘both sides as bad as each other’ bullshit.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:07 AM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Corbyn's only value to me at the moment is to block or divert Brexit. If he won't do that then he is, so far as I am concerned, part of the problem. It isn't a 'both sides' argument (always, always a sign of a bogus diversion), he is on the wrong side and is as bad as Boris or Nigel.
posted by epo at 6:16 AM on June 26 [9 favorites]


his voting and absences on EU things baffles me

The EU by design implements a centrist technocracy governance as the default for the supranational continent. When you're a hard leftist this is poison.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:05 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


People's Republic of Britain, 2024: General Secretary McClusky announces the deployment of hunter-killer drones along the English Channel, establishing what he calls the “Anti-Neoliberal Self-Protection Barrier”. Some have questioned why the machine guns are aimed towards Britain, rather than the continent.
posted by acb at 7:41 AM on June 26


After Parliament passed it a few days ago (video of the PM after too much caffeine), late this morning the EU (Withdrawal) Bill became an Act of Parliament.

What's the confirmation? The Queen gives assent and the words 'La Reyne le veult' are written or spoken; an example. This near enough translates as 'The Queen wishes it'.

Because it's in Norman French.

The irony - or, should I say, L'ironie.
posted by Wordshore at 9:23 AM on June 26 [8 favorites]


(Missing from that last comment: an easy to understand summary of the progress of the bill. Soon, parliament and the people within will catch up with the modern world. Well, some of them, maybe.)
posted by Wordshore at 9:42 AM on June 26




THE most brutal assessment of Brexit Shambles by the US embassy in London

- the economy is gonna tank
- the British Government isn't interested in telling people they got it wrong
- worst kind of inflation
- Brexit ends up not helping people
- leavers are absolutely terrified

(From C4 Inside The American Embassy )
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:22 PM on June 26 [12 favorites]


He'd like to nationalise everything. People have pointed out to him that that is perfectly possible within EU rules. But they are misunderstanding him. He doesn't want to just nationalize. He wants to 'sieze the means of production', grab capital without compensation

This is key to, y'know, socialism. It's kind of our thing. That it's not just shocking to so many people but incomprehensible, keeps surprising me. People keep saying Lexiteers are fools who could do everything they want within the EU, but it feels like you don't understand what's actually on the agenda.

Of course, Corbyn's been far from clear on his exact vision, but given the circumstances I think that's understandable. It needs to be the decision and goal of the party anyway, not just him. Stalinism is a perversion of socialism which continues to exploit the people.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 1:51 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


I think when John McDonnell says that he wants to put public services “irreversibly in the hands of workers” so they could “never again be taken away” and that “It would be cost-neutral because you would be bringing into public ownership an asset,” well, I'm not sure how he can be clearer.

Or when, today, Barry Gardiner gets Labour to abstain on any trade deals with Canada and Japan, leaving people puzzled and wondering what exactly is Labour's plan post-Brexit.

Yes, Labour is a problem because for voters like me who believe that stopping Brexit is the imperative, then they disenfranchised us. On this issue, they are not the opposition. Executing on the Brexit vote was never a constitutional requirement and strong leaders would have put country before party. I had nobody to vote for in the last election. The Lib Dems or Greens wouldn't win. If Labour had come out against Brexit I would have been behind them. This is how most of us Remainers feel - disenfranchised.
posted by vacapinta at 2:27 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


THE most brutal assessment of Brexit Shambles by the US embassy in London

Yup. That's about the size of it.
posted by Grangousier at 2:28 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


“It would be cost-neutral because you would be bringing into public ownership an asset,” well, I'm not sure how he can be clearer.

Yes, although importantly that sounds more like compulsory purchase than seizure without compensation.
posted by jaduncan at 2:33 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


McDonnell has said repeatedly that "The market value would be determined by Parliament." So that may be semantics.
posted by vacapinta at 2:42 PM on June 26


I think the idea that it's Jeremy Corbyn that's holding Labour back from being a successful pro-Remain party doesn't really stack up. Labour is divided over Brexit, with a Remain activist base, but 7 out 10 Labour constituencies voting Leave. Labour's Remain/Leave divide doesn't align with its Pro/Anti-Corbyn divide either: a lot of MPs for industrial Northern seats hate Corbyn but are pro-Leave. Labour's current policy of soft-Brexit ambiguity is mostly tactical, not the result of Corbyn's ideology.

I did think this article was interesting: Remainers are repeating the mistakes made by Labour's Corbynsceptics.

The Remain filter bubble seems to be drifting off into some fairly odd territory these days, especially when talking about the need to stock up on canned food. The EU doesn't block food and medicine even when it's putting sanctions on rogue states. Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker aren't going to order the UK to be starved into submission. Also how does this fit in with the plan to win a second referendum: "The EU is a wonderful, friendly, forward-thinking institution which will not hesitate to kill thousand of Britons by blockading food and medicine if we fail to comply"?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:06 PM on June 26


I don't think people here are worried about some kind of punitive blockade, it's that a lack of trade agreements will mean to delays at the ports and mess with supply chains which could lead to shortages.

Salad crisis of 2017 made large basically.
posted by Helga-woo at 10:47 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


Which I know was due to the weather. But there were fears this year of shortages from UK farmers because of our cold Spring, pressumably we avoided it this year by importing more.
posted by Helga-woo at 10:50 PM on June 26


I think John McDonnell's comments on the cost of nationalisation are more plausibly explained by this issue. Opponents of nationalisation always treat it as a consumption good. They assume that buying a railway is like buying a cappuccino: as soon as you've consumed it, the value becomes zero, so it's a pure cost. In fact a railway is an asset: once you've bought it, you now have an asset and it produces ongoing revenue for you.

That doesn't automatically mean nationalisation is a good idea: the government might mismanage the railway, it might lose money and be a poor asset. But at the moment it seems like the way things work is that the government hands out the franchises and if they're profitable the company takes the profit, if they're not profitable the government takes them over anyway and the taxpayer takes the loss.

But in "Labour will spend X billions renationalising Y" headlines, the numbers are usually nonsense.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:21 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


If Labour can't or won't explain to their constituents why the EU is a good thing, obviously some of those constituents are going to vote leave. The blame lies squarely on Labour leadership. Leaving is going to be a disaster for most people, but the people it will hurt the least (or not at all) are the very rich. Remaining should be a clear positive issue for Labour, and that it isn't is right out crazy.
posted by mumimor at 2:05 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


> Remaining should be a clear positive issue for Labour, and that it isn't is right out crazy.

It should be a clear positive for the Conservatives too (the party of business). Our politics is completely irrational on all sides (except maybe for the LibDems sitting in the middle with dazed looks on their faces), and I can't figure out how we got here.

Twenty years ago our biggest worry was career politicians - people who never had a real job and whose biggest problem was that they were entirely too dull. Now we're.... here.

Tabloids? Social media? FPTP? All of the above?

> "The market value would be determined by Parliament."

Is that an actual quote? Ffs.
posted by Leon at 2:47 AM on June 27


but 7 out 10 Labour constituencies voting Leave

I have big problems with that line of argument, which comes up a lot in Labour circles. The Leave voters in Labour constituencies will have been a mix of voters from all parties, but this line implies that somehow 7/10 Labour seats were full of high concentrations of Labour Leavers. Nationally, Tory voters were 61% Leave and UKIP voters were 95% Leave (the other 5% who weren't are a bit baffling, but it takes all kinds). Even Lib Dems were 32% Leave, only a few percent behind Labour's 35% Leave. Given that individual seats in Parliament are FPTP, there would be plenty of Labour seats that were won with a minority of the overall vote in a general election, so even if 75% of Labour voters voted Remain in a particular Labour seat it could potentially have gone to Leave in the referendum, depending how the vote in that seat was split across the parties in the previous general election.

It's entirely possible for 7 out of 10 of all constituencies to have voted Leave, even when the overall result was as close as 52/48. All it would take would be a bunch of urban seats with very high Remain votes, and a larger number of rural/suburban seats with narrower Leave wins.

Which seems to be what happened. Here's a breakdown of 382 local authority regions and how they voted (I can't find one that shows House of Commons constituencies,* but this gives a similar picture). Of these, 119 voted majority Remain and 263 voted majority Leave. That is, 68.8% of all regions voted Leave.

Some Labour figures keep stressing the risk of losing the 35% of Labour voters who voted Leave, but don't seem as worried that they could lose many of the 65% who voted Remain. They kept our votes last time because Labour seemed the best chance of finding our way out of this mess. They won't have as easy a time of it next time.

The risks of losing Remain votes, in fact, seem so much greater for Labour: they would have to lose only half the percentage of Labour Remain voters relative to Labour Leave voters to lose a similar number of votes overall. For example, if Labour had a base of 10 million votes, and 65% were Remain and 35% Leave, then they would risk losing a million of those votes if their Brexit policy turned off 29% of Leave voters, but would risk losing a (different) million votes if their policy turned off 15% of Remain voters. If they turned off 29% of Remain voters, they would lose 1.9 million votes.

They appear to be making a calculated decision that Leave voters are so strident that they'll abandon Labour en masse if the party helps Britain stay in the EU, and that Remain voters won't be sufficiently upset to abandon them to the same extent if they help us leave it. They're making a relative judgment about which side is more angry, and going with the angry Leavers. And they're making no allowance for the possibility that becoming the clear Remain option could attract former Tory and Lib Dem voters, even when that appears to be what happened in 2017 (before it became clear that Labour wasn't going to save us). Presumably, these aren't the "right" kind of voters, because they'd drag Labour away from the left back to the centre. But would they? Wouldn't a bigger Labour vote in 2017 have been taken as a mandate for Corbyn's manifesto, wherever the votes came from? Why couldn't it do the same next time?

The 2017 snap election was a huge miscalculation by Theresa May (leaving aside the even worse miscalculation of triggering Article 50 without a plan). She wanted to increase her majority in order to strengthen her negotiating hand with the EU, she said, which was meaningless nonsense; what she most likely wanted was to dilute the influence of the hardliners within the Tory party by bringing in more middle-of-the-road Tories, so that the hardliners couldn't hold the threat of rebellion over her and she could then steer to a softer Brexit arrangement of her choosing. But then she ran a campaign where Brexit was hardly mentioned at all, which meant that it ended up being about everything else, and the Tories' record on everything else didn't look good.

She could instead have taken her time, focussed on the withdrawal negotiations so that she had a deal on the table by mid-2018, called a general election now, and made it effectively a poll on the deal. Labour might in those circumstances have gone full Remain, because if they went hard Leave or fell in behind the Tories' deal they'd drive votes to the Lib Dems and split the anti-Tory vote. So we'd have had a Deal/Remain choice in 2018, with the Hard Brexit/No Deal ideologues sidelined, instead of the mess we have now where we face No Deal and/or being bogged down in arguments about whether a second referendum would be a denial of democracy.

Absolute shambles. Which shows that May either (a) has terrible political judgment, and is the last person who should be PM, or (b) wanted to crash out without a deal all along. I really can't credit (b), as for all her other faults she did back Remain in 2016, so it has to be (a).

*I'm not even sure there is an official breakdown along constituency lines. I'm suspicious about the "7 out of 10 Labour constituencies" trope—I suspect it must mean local authority regions, which aren't the same thing.
posted by rory at 2:54 AM on June 27 [15 favorites]


A lot has happened since Laura Kuenssberg wrote this post - Is Tory discipline on the verge of breaking down? - on the BBC news website. (caution for language, examples of insanity, Conservative politicians, and insane Conservative politicians swearing)

{Checks date} Oh. It's from yesterday.
posted by Wordshore at 3:48 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


From that Kuenssberg article: One minister told me it's like a bad 45 year marriage: "We've stayed together for the sake of the kids, given birth to Brexit which is now ready to leave home and we're fighting now over who gets what."

I'm sick to death of Brexit/marriage analogies. For every way in which they "work" and imply some inevitability about leaving, you could find a counter-example of how they should imply the opposite. (What about "in sickness and in health"? "Till death do us part"?) And fundamentally, they're bollocks. Our 28 countries aren't "married" to each other; 16,141,241 Remain voters weren't "married" to 17,410,742 Leave voters; the UK isn't "married" to the supranational organisation of which it's a member (can you be married to the marriage itself?). Analogies are like Leave-backing inventors of powerful vacuum cleaners.
posted by rory at 4:09 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Over-entitled, smug, a fraction of how clever they think they are and simultaneously lecturing people about patriotism and relocating production to the far east?
posted by Grangousier at 4:12 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


That too.
posted by rory at 4:14 AM on June 27


In defence of freedom of movement. Good to see this angle getting some airtime in the press. For me during the referendum it was the most important benefit of the EU, and it's been a constant disappointment that so many have been so quick to dismiss it to pander to the anti-immigrant vote. Labour very much included.
posted by rory at 4:28 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


I don't understand a big part of the freedom of movement complaints by Remainers. Sure, movement into the EU you'll lose some control over, but that never seems to be the central thrust of the argument. Britain can open its borders as far as it likes after Brexit, it's not like leaving the EU mandates being shit on borders.
You'll face the same political barriers as always, but there's no reason I'm aware of you can't have borders more open and welcoming than you did while you were in the EU.

From an SWP article on Brexit goals:
Defending migrants
Defend and extend the rights of migrants and refugees. Full and indefinite rights guaranteed now for all EU nationals.

Let in all refugees, yes to freedom of movement for workers, stop scapegoating.

posted by AnhydrousLove at 4:47 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Brexit was explicitly motivated by anti-migrant feeling. Leave campaigned on “if we leave, we can keep out all the foreigners and stop paying them benefits.” Remain campaigned on “we can keep the European foreigners out by cutting their benefits, even if we stay.” Britain’s approach to non-EU migrants has been increasingly hostile for the last 10 years, and Brexit was marketed precisely as a method for bringing EU migrants within that hostile approach. The policy is now being delivered by the architect of the hostile environment policy, who is currently powerfully influenced swayed by even more anti-migrant voices in her party. Yes, in theory, there is an alternative universe Brexit we could be getting which is about Britain’s commitment to internationalist socialism. That is not on the table. Even Labour has embraced nationalism so far as immigration is concerned, their spokespeople are openly saying exactly that in all their accounts what the referendum means.
posted by Aravis76 at 5:00 AM on June 27 [9 favorites]


I would agree with all of that except that
"Yes, in theory, there is an alternative universe Brexit we could be getting which is about Britain’s commitment to internationalist socialism. That is not on the table"

Everything is always on the table. We just have to be willing to work towards that instead of half-measures and seeking the aid of capitalist supra-national organisations.
Of course I'm not saying it's easy, just that it's worth working towards instead of dismissing as impossible. Change can happen fast, especially when so many people are clearly aware of problems in the current system, even if many are deluded as to the causes of those problems.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 5:12 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


To be honest, I think left-wing takeover of the EU institutions and treaties is more probable than left-wing takeover of Brexit (both highly improbable, of course)—working towards the former rather than the latter is more realistic, and also has the advantage of not empowering the far-right.
posted by Aravis76 at 5:43 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


rory, has it occurred to you that May might have excellent political judgement?

I'm pretty sure everything she has done since taking office has been in service of her ongoing political career. At no point has she thought what is best for her country or it's people.

If she tried to back away from brexit then her career would be in tatters. Her party, too, possibly. The only career saving move is to run the bus off the cliff, and shout as loudly as you can on the way down "this is what you wanted, remember?!"
posted by trif at 5:48 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


I should probably clarify that excellent political judgement is probably not particularly good for your moral judgement. Or even fiscal judgement.

Career politicians are the worst.
posted by trif at 5:49 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Sure, movement into the EU you'll lose some control over, but that never seems to be the central thrust of the argument.

Which arguments are you seeing? It's a central thrust of the argument on the Twitter remain circles that I frequent. There are 1.5 million UK citizens living in the EU27 countries for whom it's the central thrust, what with it being crucial to preserving the lives they've built for themselves, and there are many more who recognise its importance.

Also, true, the UK could maintain FOM for EU27 citizens. Same way it could bring back FOM for Commonwealth citizens, or could open the borders to the entire world. The chance of any of that happening in the post-2016 landscape is remote, at best.
posted by rory at 6:11 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


rory, has it occurred to you that May might have excellent political judgement?

The evil genius theory, eh? I'm not convinced by the "genius" part.

No Prime Minister with excellent political judgment calls a snap election three years early in order to turn her majority government into a minority government. No one with excellent judgment would trigger Article 50 prematurely without solid plans for all contingencies, over the advice of seasoned civil servants.

It would have been entirely possible to hold off on triggering Article 50 until the UK was thoroughly prepared for it—and even to sell holding off to hardliners: "The EU is pushing us to trigger Article 50 before we're ready, so that it can put us at a disadvantage in negotiations. We'll do so when it is to Britain's best advantage, and not a moment sooner."

But no, her excellent political judgment was to put us all over a barrel.

Her career won't be saved by running us off the cliff, when government receipts are already down £440 million a week and are only going to get worse. We're about to get austerity on steroids, and Austerity Mark I almost cost her the keys to No. 10 once.
posted by rory at 6:12 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


I think she was doomed from the point that the Tory party failed to take the issue seriously before the referendum. The half-assed remain campaign was led by a group of idiots that didn't believe it could actually happen. Now that she is where she is, I think the route she has taken will prolong her career longer than any of the other, more moral choices.... but I agree it won't be considerably longer.

Bloody career politicians, one and all. They're paid a handsome wage to be well informed and make the best choices for the country, not their careers, and they are failing at the singularly most important choice that will be given to them in their lives.
posted by trif at 6:25 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


May is basically the sacrificial PM though. As soon as Brexit is done and it's an omnishambles they're going to blame her and put a bullet in her leadership.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 8:01 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


I can't see a way out of this. A Remainer Tory leadership challenger would be wiped out by the party membership in a vote. Labour's politicial calculus clearly tells it that hitching the party to Remain wouldn't work, and some people in the leadership are living in a Lexity dreamworld. And anyway there's no route back to the status quo. It's not a given that Article 50 is reversible, and even if it turned out to be the deal we used to have is off the table. I think David Runciman's gloomy point of view is right: Brexit has to happen before we start reversing it.

So in sum we're all screwed. Thanks, David Cameron.
posted by Mocata at 9:14 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


This will probably escape people's notice but the WSJ reports that the ECB is essentially now playing hardball with London banks. At stake is euro-denominated derivatives. Excerpt:

In derivatives, more than 90% of all euro-denominated interest-rate swaps are cleared through London-based LCH. Without a post-Brexit deal, this would become a non-qualifying venue, increasing capital charges for continental European users.

Banks in the International Capital Markets Association are therefore begging EU and U.K. politicians to come up with a joint statement that would ensure all existing cross-border contracts remain valid, whatever the outcome of the Brexit talks.
...
That sounds like a simple answer, but the EBA thinks it just isn’t possible. It told banks Monday that preparing for a bad Brexit is hard but not impossible and that they just need to get on with it. Meanwhile, the ECB reminded banks that if they need extra approvals to operate in the EU, they must apply by the end of the second-quarter—that means Friday.


Carney is pleading for a special deal to avoid chaos but the EU is being unresponsive.
posted by vacapinta at 9:21 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Carney is pleading for a special deal to avoid chaos but the EU is being unresponsive.

EU points to “A lack of planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on mine.” sign.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 9:42 AM on June 27 [9 favorites]


I've worked closely with the EU (specifically the Commission), and I think that my generally Europhile and pro-EU position should be pretty clear from my contributions to these Brexit threads. But yeah, they can be inflexible and bureaucratic to the exclusion of all other considerations.

I've seen plenty of less-than-ideal outcomes happen because they were unwilling to be flexible in the face of unforseen and indeed impossible to foresee events. I've had to scramble to fix problems on their behalf that were entirely of their own making and even then - while acknowledging that it was a tough break - they still weren't willing to e.g. extend deadlines or provide extra resources.

If anybody thinks that they'll break their own rules to help (the UK / banks / whoever) out of an entirely predictable and avoidable jam, I want some of whatever they're having. I mean - it sounds like a massive daily dose of benzos would be helpful to get me through the next 12 months, anyway.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 6:39 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


It's not strictly Brexit-related, but I think it's a really helpful summary of the decade of awfulness that sparked the popular anger behind Brexit (and I really like John Lanchester's work and will link to it on any pretext). My emphasis:
By now we’re eight years into that public anger. Remember that remark made by Robert Lucas, the macroeconomist, that the central problem of depression prevention had been solved? How’s that been working out? How it’s been working out here in the UK is the longest period of declining real incomes in recorded economic history. ‘Recorded economic history’ means as far back as current techniques can reach, which is back to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Worse than the decades that followed the Napoleonic Wars, worse than the crises that followed them, worse than the financial crises that inspired Marx, worse than the Depression, worse than both world wars. That is a truly stupendous statistic and if you knew nothing about the economy, sociology or politics of a country, and were told that single fact about it – that real incomes had been falling for the longest period ever – you would expect serious convulsions in its national life.
I'm just so angry with the Tories, and their cowardice and cruelty and opportunism - they brought us here as much with a decade of unnecessary austerity as with their unecessary referendum. And I'm so frustrated that we have no alternatives to all this. It seems as though everything will get much, much worse, before we can start thinking in the direction of "better".
posted by chappell, ambrose at 7:59 PM on June 27 [15 favorites]


Every single thing I want to say about Brexit in this thread (or IRL, tbh) is stupid, untimely and futile, but I appreciate reading other people's comments a lot, thanks.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:28 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


I've worked closely with the EU (specifically the Commission), and I think that my generally Europhile and pro-EU position should be pretty clear from my contributions to these Brexit threads. But yeah, they can be inflexible and bureaucratic to the exclusion of all other considerations.
I'm pro-EU with misgivings. I don't think anyone (sane) is totally behind every action taken by any single political body.

Visiting Ireland, I got the impression of a country that was getting by on EU subsidies. Correct me if I am out on this, but their modus operandi seems to be to charge major global (mainly tech) corporations minimal tax to create jobs and then go to the EU pleading poverty to subsidise the actual running costs of the country. Coming from a country that (presently) pays into the EU budget it's easy to ask the question why some of these countries aren't being made to tax corporations fairly.

While I was there, Amazon announced an expansion of their AWS Dublin office. The coverage on State radio and television was absolutely uncritical of the company and the government's role in the deal - Leo Varadkar at the shiny new offices of benevolent Amazon, gracing us with a few hundred all-important Jobs simply because we're Ireland and we're a wonderful place for tech. Nothing at all to do with being the kind of country that will literally appeal against the EU when they tell you to charge Apple back taxes.

This kind of thing looks, to the untrained eye, distinctly like Britain and other countries paying into the EU budget, and (via Ireland) pretty much directly subsidising the operations of Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Zuckerberg etc. When you're in a country that has been screwed by austerity measures beyond anything seen in Ireland for the past ten years, with decimated public services, closed libraries, disabled people made to work or die, rising crime etc, this sort of subsidy is fantastic ammo for Brexiters.
posted by winterhill at 2:50 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


For the EU to work at all, it has to be pretty rigid. It's not a nation, it's an organization of nations, like NATO or the UN, and if it doesn't function in a transparent and rules-based manner, it will quickly lose the sliver of confidence it has among both politicians and private citizens of Europe. (The definition of transparency here is probably a bit different than most lay people would have it, but the important thing is that you need to be able to follow the decisions and the money all the way). I've worked with EU projects, and I rather like the rigidity, I've also seen particularly British officials being very, very good at navigating within the frameworks. I mentioned way back in another Brexit thread that I'm sure those officials will be missed.
One of the things the EU does is distribute funds towards regional development, (rather than national development), so a poor region in a rich country may get infrastructure or farming funds from the EU. There are a number of historical reasons for this, and I'm not sure I believe they are all still valid, but for a large amount of the people who voted leave, EU funding was their only support. The British government wasn't going to and isn't ever going to support farmers in Wales and Cornwall, or infrastructure in Northern Ireland.
It's easy to describe the EU budget and bureaucracy as a huge monster, but when you look at the size of the population, the budget is tiny, and the bureaucracy is incredibly efficient. Yes, there are things that are static and complicated, but given that both the politicians and the officials come from all over, from countries with extremely different cultures and traditions of government (some of them very corrupt!), it is an impressive organization, and that should be the message to its population.
posted by mumimor at 4:40 AM on June 28 [8 favorites]




For all your problems in the UK, I'd take them over America's in a heartbeat.

We're potentially only months away here from open battles with fascists on the streets. Four icons of the alt-right have just joined UKIP—Paul Joseph Watson, Count Dankula, Sargon of Akkad, and Milo Yiannopoulos—and the party is shifting its focus to street campaigning, throwing its lot in with the "Free Tommy Robinson" brigade. If the millions of people who were voting for UKIP a few years ago become convinced that these types represent them, things could get ugly very quickly. A lot of those voters will have been ex-BNP voters, so they won't need convincing.

The risk is that a no-deal Brexit so damages Britain so quickly that ordinary government collapses and something much worse than the Tories takes its place. I don't know the odds, but I was much happier when the chances of anything coming from Mars were a million to one, my friend.
posted by rory at 7:11 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


We've been in a class war for at about 40 years and the wrong side had been doing most of the winning
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:33 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


yeah, by 'we' I mean the working class on both sides of the Atlantic, and by 'working class' I mean everyone has to work for a living or receives state benefits/pension and cannot just live on unearned wealth
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:41 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


[A few comments removed; please remember not to offload US politics commentary into non-US-politics whenever possible.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:42 AM on June 28 [10 favorites]


On a lighter note, of all people, Danny Dyer's trending right now with a short Brexit rant.

"[David Cameron]’s in Europe, in Nice, with his trotters up."
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:17 AM on June 29 [3 favorites]


"[David Cameron]’s in Europe, in Nice, with his trotters up."

If I ever become Prime Minister, the first order of business will be to confiscate the passports of Cameron, May, Johnson, Gove, etc. We take away football hooligans’ passports just because they go and throw furniture around in foreign city centres and embarrass us. Seems pretty mild compared to destroying our whole relationship with 27 other countries all at once, in the most embarrassingly ham-fisted way imaginable.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 7:52 AM on June 29 [6 favorites]


ham-fisted
Quite.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:47 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


Danny Dyer talking sense ? This is the darkest timeline....
posted by Pendragon at 9:24 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


It's widely agreed that the second “twat” in Danny Dyer's speech is the best timed wording in recent history. Especially as it's ambiguous whether it applies to Piers Morgan or to David Cameron.

Or both. Why not both?
posted by ambrosen at 3:55 PM on June 29 [6 favorites]


“The Electoral Commission is investigating ‘whether or not Better For The Country Limited was the true source of donations, or if it was acting as an agent’. It also wants to know ‘whether or not Banks was the true source of loans reported by a referendum campaigner in his name’”.
“Banks helped bring about Brexit by making the largest donation in British political history. Five registered groups reported donations from his company Better For The Country totalling £2,359,842.76”.
posted by adamvasco at 4:09 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


I keep on watching the Danny Dyers rant. It's somehow soothing, even though it doesn't make any difference.
posted by mumimor at 4:38 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


The pig fucker should be known for ever in history as Two Twats Dave.
posted by adamvasco at 6:30 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


*necrophiliac pig fucker

Allegedly.
posted by jaduncan at 12:29 PM on June 30


@drphiliplee1: Brexit is kinda like a Dad whose kids bugged him to go Alton Towers, so now he's driving there, at 11pm, knowing it'll be closed, with his kids screaming in excitement but his wife going c'mon Colin turn the car around but he's like NO YOUVE MADE YOUR CHOICE WE'RE FUCKING GOING

@joemuggs: This is one of those stories that involve a car being found at a beauty spot and end with “then turned the gun on himself”, isn’t it?
posted by Wordshore at 12:55 PM on June 30 [9 favorites]


So far only in the rightwing and nationalist press: John Bolton, Mr Trump’s national security adviser, spent more than an hour discussing Brexit with members of the European Research Group of Conservative MPs in London last week.
posted by adamvasco at 7:50 AM on July 1


@PickardJE: we are approaching Peak Maybot, as the PM tells the House of Commons just now:

"There has been much jocularity around the term 'Brexit means Brexit'. But it does mean Brexit......."


I mean, seriously, two years in and we're back to Brexit means Brexit?
posted by MattWPBS at 10:28 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Robert Peston claims to have "the main elements of the Prime Minister's Brexit plan", though his "insider sources" haven't been totally reliable up to now.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:14 AM on July 3


A glimmer of hope? (Andrew Neil is not exactly a Remainer himself, note.)

"At first I thought this must be old news but it’s actually dated TODAY!!": The Treasury and Bank of England have been asked to draw up analysis of the impact of any Brexit deal struck with the UK.

Stab-in-the-back rhetoric is in full flow this week in the Leave camp. It's all Remainers' fault for tweeting too much, or not parroting enough blind jingoism, or something. Rather than being a result of the internal contradictions of an impossible Brexit.
posted by rory at 11:19 AM on July 3


Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but it is still the current Brexit thread, so.

Vote Leave broke electoral law, Electoral Commission expected to say

So if Vote Leave broke the rules around elections, what is to be done? The referendum already happened, so any fines or sanctions for what is basically a defunct organisation that's served its purpose seem redundant. If the rules were broken, there's no provision for re-running the vote within the rules, that ship has sailed. The system as it currently stands means you can do what you want, ride roughshod over the rules, get your way in the election or referendum, and then years later get a mild slap on the wrist.

It reminds me of Advertising Standards Agency sanctions, where they tell an advertiser not to re-run a misleading advert that's already been and gone. Toothless and insulting.
posted by winterhill at 2:46 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]


I'm still reading. It's just that the entire situation leads to this in my head.
posted by MattWPBS at 5:30 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]


Yeah. Electoral fraud should come with prison time as a minimum. Fines are absurd.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:10 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]


The underlying assumption behind electoral fraud conviction is that the electors will learn of your dishonesty and vote you out the next time. That's what's supposed to happen if a party reneges on manifestor promises, which is also a kind of fraud.

Another reason why referendums are such bad ideas...
posted by Devonian at 6:32 AM on July 4 [3 favorites]


Came in to say what MattWPBS said.
Someone upthread compared Brexit to the current situation in the US. Maybe it's hard to get how catastrophic is for the British people, including a huge majority of Brexit voters. In the US, you can vote for another congress, and in a few years for another president. It's not certain you as a nation will do it, and Trump can hypothetically bomb out the entire globe before you get there, but there are still real options.
There is also hope in the investigations, and hope in the Resistance and all the women taking power.
And all the people in blue states who voted for Hillary still live in liberal communities where the economy won't crash completely because of Trump's idiocy.
In the UK, all the hope there is is magical thinking. I would like to unfold this for you, but I literally start crying when I try.
posted by mumimor at 9:13 AM on July 4 [4 favorites]


I strongly disagree that all hope is magical thinking.

The most important aspect is that the demographics are moving inexorably towards a pro-EU majority, with the tipping point being not much more than a year away. This may be too late to stop Brexit - or it may not - but long-term, we're back in the EU. If the very considerable Labour majority for a second referendum becomes party policy, or if we have another general election, then it's absolutely not magical thinking to say the results can be transformative.

Then there's the GFA. The RoI/NI border issue is unfixable, because people have been promised incompatible outcomes. One will have to be chosen, at which time what passes for a workable Tory government stops. Max Fac cannot work, no border means the customs union - and May has promised both no border and no customs union. She cannot have this: it is not an option.

The government is still under the delusion that what's happening with the EU is a negotiation, when it's a process. God knows what will happen at the away day from hell, but it's unlkely to impress the EU. Again, the choice becomes the unthinkable hard Brexit or a pointless soft Brexit, and again the central delusion that has sustained May collapses under observation.

It's all wearying, a huge waste of time and soul and resources, and dicing with catastrophe as much as you might like. But it's not magical thinking to say the whole sorry shambles may yet collapse under its own contradictions - which are manifest - and some semblance of sanity emerges from the rubble.
posted by Devonian at 9:41 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]


Devonian, I truly hope you are right. But I can't see the Labour leadership who could create a new agenda, and I can't see the EU bending at any turn (and I agree with this position).
The optimal political possibility would be a cross-party pro EU coalition, but that seems impossible right now, and there is so little time to go.
posted by mumimor at 1:32 PM on July 4


The stench of naked self-interest wafting out of the cabinet this week tells us exactly how much the Tories care about Brexit.
Whether or not it ruins the economy, most have their eyes on the prize – and the prize is the leadership of their party, rather than the good of the country.
posted by adamvasco at 4:25 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


A pal just pointed me to this well researched twitter hread on the history between Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russian since WWII, ending up at the present day. It's so transparent where Brexit has come from.
posted by Devonian at 2:10 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]




Yeah. Electoral fraud should come with prison time as a minimum. Fines are absurd.
Even if we could throw Vote Leave's management (and that shady Arron Banks) in prison, it wouldn't fix anything. The country is still in a mess thanks to the Brexit referendum result, and having a few extra bodies taking up prison space would do nothing. It would, in fact, likely have the opposite effect at this point - the right-wing press would treat them as political prisoners and martyrs, thrown in jail by a bitter, treasonous Remoaner establishment desperate to overturn the Will of the People.

As for the Conservatives fighting over the spoils of a split party to decide who gets to be the next PM, they're only able to do that because of inept Labour and their ineffectual, indecisive leader. With someone with a clearly expressed viewpoint on Brexit in charge they would have won the 2017 election. Corbyn's constant equivocation over Brexit, because he's terrified - terrified! - of the reaction of Leave voters in Goole or somewhere if he came out in favour of EEA membership has been his undoing. No one knows what he stands for on the major issue of the day, and if no one knows what you stand for, they aren't going to vote for you.

The Conservatives, on the other hand, could destroy themselves electorally for a generation if this goes wrong. If the Brexit they come up with causes a dip in living standards, they'll ruin their long-standing reputation as the party of stable and responsible economic management. Once that's gone, what do they have left? Party of cuts? The party that closed your kids' Surestart centre or your local police station. Who'll vote for that?

So when we've had our hard, no-deal Brexit, Labour has destroyed itself over not knowing what it wanted or doing enough to fight it, and the Conservatives have destroyed themselves by collapsing the economy, what comes in? Enter the far right, already waiting in the wings. Interesting times.
posted by winterhill at 2:33 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


the right-wing press would treat them as political prisoners and martyrs, thrown in jail by a bitter, treasonous Remoaner establishment desperate to overturn the Will of the People.

They're going to lash out at their perceived enemies whatever happens, unless Brexit delivers their imagined future Britain of untold prosperity. As there's no single part of me that believes for an instant that Britain will come out of this in better shape than it was in before (even if we stay in the EU, at this point), we might as well fight for our own vision of a least-worst future. Which for me includes a stretch of porridge for people found guilty of serious breaches of electoral law.

Speaking of the right-wing press...
posted by rory at 2:53 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


On all the rich people and corporations suddenly deciding they'd rather be in vibrant, exciting County Kildare rather than dull old London, it's part of their Brexit plan. Money and rich people find ways of slithering around even the hardest of hard borders. They know that even the hardest no-deal Brexit won't affect them in any meaningful way - their lifestyle and business activities will continue as before.

But an impoverished Britain makes life cheaper for them. They can pay people less, make working conditions worse, while sliding their profits through Ireland. They want to collapse the economy, because a poor economy is often better for those who want to exploit others for profit. A buoyant economy means pesky workers start wanting more.
posted by winterhill at 3:15 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


Money and rich people find ways of slithering around even the hardest of hard borders.

That's because every Western country has exceptions and fast tracks in their immigration laws if you're willing to plow enough money into them.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 8:15 AM on July 5


The Economist: The Economy Has Slowed To A Standstill, Largely Because of Brexit—Surveys from the second quarter of the year have not been encouraging:

"The economic impact of the vote for Brexit is turning out to be less of a sting and more of an ache. Sterling’s referendum-induced decline has made imports pricier. Annual inflation exceeded wage growth for most of 2017. Although inflation has fallen from its recent peak of 3.1%, real wages are still barely growing. Today the average employee’s pay packet is roughly 3% smaller than might reasonably have been expected in June 2016, when real wages were moving up. Brexiteers who emphasised how much Britain allegedly pays to the EU will be interested to learn that, across the whole economy, that adds up to around £350m a week in lost earnings [emphasis added—Shome mishtake, shurely? Ed]. Growth in household spending, which accounts for some 60% of GDP, has slowed."

At some point, the electorate has to take notice and put two and two together about Brexit/Leave, right? Right?
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:09 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


At some point, the electorate has to take notice and put two and two together about Brexit/Leave, right? Right?

If only there were a viable party in opposition that would pledge to clear up this train wreck and stay in the EU...
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 12:34 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


From the Deputy Political Editor of the D Tel - "EXCLUSIVE I'm told the gathering of Eurosceptic rebels tonight at the FCO is bigger than first thought. Full cast list is Boris Johnson, David Davis, Michael Gove, Esther McVey, Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom. If I was No 10 I'd be worried..."

The cabinet is getting its phones removed at 10:30am tomorrow and not given back until 11pm, or when the white paper's signed off. It's going to be bloody - and it doesn't matter, because nothing May can come up with will be acceptable to the EU and to enough in her party.

What an absolute shower.

ETA from Faisal Islam - Paper currently contains proposal for a “common rule book” for goods and agrifoods- and acknowledgement that will restrain scope/ negotiating power for any potential US free trade deal. Reference to joint dispute resolution, including ECJ - sounds EEA like for goods
posted by Devonian at 2:23 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


and it doesn't matter, because nothing May can come up with will be acceptable to the EU and to enough in her party.

Jacob Rees-Mogg starting us off with optimism on possibly going after an EEA-lite deal from the leaked white paper:
“If this correct this is not Brexit. This common rulebook means that we are essentially a vassal state.”
If you want to export to the EU you follow their standards. That's how it is. It's like the logic units in the brains of these people was removed at birth just to see what the hell would happen.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:16 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


Over on Twitter, garius is liveblogging today in Chequers. It may not be detail accurate, but it's 100% accurate when it comes to these people's maturity.
posted by ambrosen at 1:25 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


As seen on twitter:

The Full English Brexit.

2016: Cake
2017: Fudge
2018: Gammon
2019: Toast
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:31 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


Fraud unravels everything: Brexit is voidable and Article 50 can be revoked.
As the Electoral Reform Committee said in 1947, voting irregularities are not just private wrongs, but ‘attempts to wreck the machinery of representative government’ and ‘an attack upon national institutions’.
posted by adamvasco at 4:15 AM on July 6 [7 favorites]


There was a clip of David Davis being asked a question on commercial radio news earlier, on his way to Chequers. The exchange went something like:
Sky reporter: "What are your views on Theresa May's Brexit compromise?"
David Davis: "Lovely day, isn't it?"
Sky: "It is, but what about the Brexit proposals?"
DD: "Lovely day, mind you don't walk into that post! Ha ha!"
Just... fuck off. The futures of millions of people in this country rest on these negotiations, on his shoulders, and all he can do is make stupid quips to news reporters asking legitimate questions about his views. He comes across as a man who sees it all as a bit of a laugh, a bit of LADS BANTZ.

I'm tired of it all. Tired of the whispering in Parliament, tired of the leaks and counter-leaks and backroom deals and non-deals and having to read the runes and not having any clear answers on what's actually happening with this whole clusterfuck. Meanwhile the economy is circling the drain and the country is heading towards chaos and unrest.

But hey - it's a lovely day.
posted by winterhill at 6:07 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


PM proposes creation of ‘UK-EU free trade area’ and matching food standards

So. A year and a half late and Brexiteers will be in open revolt.

Omnifuckingshambles.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 1:52 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]




And it all starts to come together (medium)
Matthew Elliott, CEO of pro-Brexit Vote Leave, was a partner at Awareness Analytics Partners (A2P) which has links to Trump, DeVos and the Koch brothers.
A2P was started in 2015 by Samantha Ravich who was on the Trump transition team, A2P partner Sean Noble runs a nonprofit funded largely by the Koch brothers, and A2P developed an app with a think tank funded by the DeVos family and Koch brothers.
(crossposted to latest USA megathread).
posted by adamvasco at 2:37 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


OH LOOK FARAGE IS NOT HAPPY WITH BURNING THE FUCKING COUNTRY DOWN!

Maybe once we've left the EU, we can have another referendum to leave the EU even more, and so on, until the end of either Britain, or the EU, or of time itself.
posted by dng at 4:15 PM on July 6


I think his idea was to have an endless series of referendums on things like bringing back the death penalty, banning abortion, NO DARKIES, etc, etc, whatever bar-room prejudice can be marshalled in support of the chancer fuckwit.
posted by Grangousier at 4:41 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


For the sake of posterity: Theresa May secures approval from cabinet to negotiate soft Brexit

They seem to think they can make capitulating very slowly look like victory. Obviously they have to capitulate (to reality if not the EU), but being represented by these idiots is humiliating. Almost as humiliating as the sure and certain knowledge that the British people will let them get away with it.
posted by Grangousier at 3:29 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Microsoft Word - CHEQUERS STATEMENT - FINAL.docx - CHEQUERS_STATEMENT_-_FINAL.PDF
Modification Date: 06/07/2018, 18:43:43

Section III in its entirety:
III. PREPAREDNESS

7. It remains our firm view that it is in the best interests of both sides to reach agreement on a good and sustainable future relationship. But we also concluded that it was responsible to continue preparations for a range of potential outcomes, including the possibility of ‘no deal’. Given the short period remaining before the necessary conclusion of negotiations this autumn, we agreed preparations should be stepped up.
Here is Robert Peston (Facebook, sorry) on the Chequers agreement:
But there’s the rub – and the second reason why the Brexiters are cutting up less rough than perhaps might be anticipated. The EU may well be profoundly unimpressed by the UK’s plan, and reject it – because it tramples on a number of EU principles, most importantly that the UK wants freedom of movement for goods, but is not signing up for freedom of movement for services or people.

They are taking comfort from the final paragraph of the statement – that preparations for a collapse of negotiations with the EU and a no-deal Brexit “should be stepped up”.

It may yet come to that.
I can't be the only one who thinks that the Brexiteers only agreed to this because they suspect it won't be accepted by the EU, and hence their ultimate desire - a no deal hard brexit cliff - becomes more likely.

They're making noises about it being unsatisfactory, but those are just noises. Their goal is still available, hidden under the table. The real suckers here might be the "Soft"-Brexiteers, who think this can be viable.
posted by Quagkapi at 4:02 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I don't think anyone capable of reading for comprehension can think this viable as it stands. The question is what happens when the negotiations start and go one of two ways - the UK caves or the UK walks out.

A number of voters didn't believe that a hard Brexit would be a disaster, or that a soft Brexit would be pointless. Nevertheless, both remain true and there has been two years demonstration of this. At the point at which one is chosen, there has to be a second referendum. Even my PC asks me if I'm sure when I'm formatting a USB drive...
posted by Devonian at 6:04 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


So we're 16 months in and this is literally the EU negotiations so far:

Brexiteers: We want to form our own free trade agreements!
EU: Then have a free trade agreement with us.
Brexiteers: But we don't want a hard border in Ireland!
EU: Then have a customs union with us.
Brexiteers: But we want to form our own free trade agreements!
EU: Then have a free trade agreement with us.
Brexiteers: But we don't want a hard border in Ireland!
EU: Then have a customs union with us.

*Brexiteers head to Chequers*
May: We're going for a deal with the EU that will be half free trade agreement and half no hard border in Ireland.

The UK is soooooooooo fucked.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 6:46 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Marina Hydes, The Guardian: The Chequers summit: more like Jeremy Kyle meets Real Housewives of the Cabinet
The big question, really, is whether next week can go worse for the government than this one did. Monday kicked things off with the Tory fundraiser, an auto-satirical event where auction lots included a ride in Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Bentley. Never mind straight-to-DVD: this government is straight-to-meme. Other prizes included dinner with the Goves, and a bottle of whisky signed by five Conservative prime ministers (pearl-handled revolver not included).

By midweek, Brexiter Owen Paterson was suggesting he knew lot more about the car business than the chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover. This is the former environment secretary whose explanation as to why he’d missed his culling target was “the badgers moved the goalposts”. Owen, you were outfoxed by badgers. You’re going to have to defer to the man who makes broom-broom cars on why he might have to take his factories on a permanent holibobs.
posted by mumimor at 6:54 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


According to the BBC website, Boris Johnson "engaged on the substance". Is that a euphemism for "drunk", d'you suppose?
posted by Grangousier at 1:52 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]




From the Sunday Times, via Twitter...

'At the meeting Boris Johnson declared May's plans "a big turd" and said that anyone defending them would be "polishing a turd" - before backing down and supporting then.'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:21 AM on July 8


A few days old from Franklin Dehousse: Chaotic no deal Brexit is threatening: why the European Union must help the UK, and what the British government needs to do first for that.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:56 AM on July 8


'At the meeting Boris Johnson declared May's plans "a big turd" and said that anyone defending them would be "polishing a turd" - before backing down and supporting then.'

Boris, take a look in the fucking mirror.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 4:56 AM on July 8


DD RIP - the Brexit Bulldog has resigned in a midnight quest for freedom. Although who May will get to replace him - and whether he's about to launch a leadership bid - remains to be seen.
posted by Devonian at 3:53 PM on July 8




Everything about this government is a completely farcical inept load of old piss.
posted by dng at 5:24 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


DD RIP - the Brexit Bulldog has resigned in a midnight quest for freedom. Although who May will get to replace him - and whether he's about to launch a leadership bid - remains to be seen.

Nobody is about to launch a leadership bid. Nobody wants to have this Brexit turd bomb in their hands when it explodes. Why do you think May is still leader after losing the Tory parliamentry majority while Labour were fucking imploding? It's not because she inspires the UK people with her vicar's daughter leadership style. No. It's because whoever is PM when Brexit drops will be not long for this political world. If you want to do something more than be a caretaker PM for the next nine months overseeing the economic destruction of the UK you'll stay far, far away from any leadership battle. No sane person should want to be PM right now. Let May dive hold on to that grenade and once it explodes and they're wiping her political corpse off the walls of No 10 go in with the other hyenas and vultures to see what scraps you can pick up.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:13 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Nobody is about to launch a leadership bid. Nobody wants to have this Brexit turd bomb in their hands when it explodes.

The problem is that if you say this (at 3:13 am), you're not just saying that Brexit is an unwholesome clusterfuck, you're also putting cold water on the ambitions of your readers to actually attempt to stop Brexit.

Because I've just gone to Twitter (now that UK political twitter's woken up again), and right now there's plenty of MPs and opinion writers openly saying Brexit is unravelling who weren't saying that 24 hours ago.

Throwing your hands in the air and saying "no one wants to take over this mess" stops the pressure against May to resign, and reduces the chance of more MPs coming out in favor of their convictions.

Brexit's now more stoppable than ever, so go to Twitter and amplify the MPs who are newly saying that Brexit is a danger to us.
posted by ambrosen at 10:09 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


The other thing about saying Brexiteers will leave May holding the grenade is that while they are of course manipulative liars, they're also extremely short sighted and power hungry.

It's entirely plausible that the combination of feeling backed into a corner, plus their gigantic egos will end up with them starting a shoot out with the person holding the grenade. And nothing of value will be lost if the political careers of the entire cabinet are destroyed in the ensuing fire fight.
posted by ambrosen at 10:28 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


How intensely frustrating that Davis got to choose when to go, rather than being sacked last December for bullshitting about the "57" impact reports.

Still, better late than never.
posted by rory at 12:21 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


New Brexit minister Dominic Raab thinks that a typical food bank user is "someone who has a cashflow problem episodically" and that feminists are "obnoxious bigots". Just the person you want in charge of the Department for Exiting Reality.
posted by rory at 2:52 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


How David Davis’s resignation could result in an even softer Brexit:
... just because you can organise a rebellion doesn't mean you can win one. The ERG can – and as far as the majority of Tory MPs I've spoken to this morning are concerned, probably will in the coming days – get enough support to trigger a vote of confidence in Theresa May’s leadership of the Conservative Party. But they can't magic up the extra 100 Conservative MPs you would need to actually win that confidence vote.

And their prospects for defeating May in the Commons are slim, too. Now that the Withdrawal Bill has passed, the day-to-day business of negotiating an exit is firmly in the hands of the executive not the legislature...

There are important procedural issues in the coming votes on customs and immigration that have the potential to harden the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, but the problem that the ERG have is that they have no partner... there are just two votes that Brexiteer Conservative MPs can plausibly defeat the government over. The first is a vote of no confidence in the government, the one issue where the opposition parties would combine with them. The second is to vote against the final deal. Those are both awfully big adventures though, as the first risks an election they don't want and the second means an economic and constitutional crisis and potentially an election they don't want into the bargain.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:05 AM on July 9




A Twitter thread about Raab's integral role in the long Tory campaign to replace the Human Rights Act with a "British Bill of Rights": It says something about a politician that his 10 year focus - his *life-time policy ambition* - has been to criticise and weaken the international human rights system the UK was instrumental in building.
posted by rory at 3:33 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


And Number 10 has been briefing the Labour Party, seemingly on the grounds that they could provide useful support during a no confidence vote. The complete lack of any sort of plan from the hard Brexiters has highlighted the fact that there are really just two options - a softer-than-soft-I-can't-believe-it's-still-Brexit with customs union membership (forced on the unwilling May by the hard-nosed EU, would be the narrative), or a no-deal car crash. I think the Tories are hoping that enough Labour support can be purchased by the promise of the first and the fear of the second to keep the ship afloat.

Meanwhile, the Queen and PP aren't attending a royal baptism, fuelling gossip that either one of them is gravely ill or that she's preparing to pull a massive sickie to avoid The Cheeto Benito. And there's some sort of sporty thing. As someone said on Twitter - this week has an end of season finale for the news feel about it.
posted by Devonian at 3:43 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]




Partial crosspost from the main fascist-uprising Trump shitshow thread.

There is a rather fine, accurate in spirit, summary of Raab (it's not the summary you may have wanted, but it's the one you need).

From Monbiot "Dominic Raab epitomises what one of Cameron's circle called the "swivel-eyed loons". Out of the frying pan, into the fire."

{his MRA inclinations already seem to be well covered in previous links}

He does seem very much to be the UK variant of Stephen Miller (slash Seb Gorka).
posted by Buntix at 4:57 AM on July 9


From the Dunt link:
There are few projects a lifelong eurosceptic could treasure more than managing Britain's withdrawal from the EU. David Davis was given the most coveted role in the history of his ideology and he flunked it, at every stage, with a series of unforced errors based on his own ignorance of the thing he ostensibly cared about.
That sums up the whole project perfectly. Prime Dunt.
posted by Grangousier at 5:16 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


I was once in a meeting where Raab *literally* only introduced himself to the men present and repeatedly mangled both simple concepts he was in charge of, and the name of the office he was visiting.

A safe pair of hands for our future.
posted by threetwentytwo at 5:31 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Psychological study of personality profiles, numeracy and education in Brexit voters. Tl;dr - yep, you can guess.
posted by Devonian at 5:32 AM on July 9


Apart from anything else, Dominic Raab sounds like he should be the villain in one of those James Bond knockoffs that Anthony Horowitz writes. His very name is a sneering sound.

I'd enjoy watching his inevitable failure a lot more if I could be doing so from the vantage point of 2050 (especially since, like all of his class, he won't risk failure unless he's already lined up someone to take the blame).
posted by Grangousier at 5:36 AM on July 9


Peter Smith
Brexiters are like my dog Stan. He spent 15 years chasing neighbour's cats. One day he cornered one and didn't have a clue what to do next. So he sat down and licked his balls. #BrexitShambles
posted by chris24 at 5:36 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Throwing your hands in the air and saying "no one wants to take over this mess" stops the pressure against May to resign, and reduces the chance of more MPs coming out in favor of their convictions.

Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition should be the ones trying to stop this clusterfuck but all sides seem to consider the electorate's decision (on an advisory referendum no less) sacrosanct . And hey, the government's majority literally involves one MP and a buddy defecting so bring it on. But they won't because it's so much easier to wait and let May be crucified for the sins of all Torys.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 6:27 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the Queen and PP aren't attending a royal baptism, fuelling gossip that either one of them is gravely ill or that she's preparing to pull a massive sickie to avoid The Cheeto Benito. And there's some sort of sporty thing. As someone said on Twitter - this week has an end of season finale for the news feel about it.

Good one - turned that into a UK-catch-all post.
posted by Wordshore at 6:43 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


season finale for the news

Is that a euphemism for the Apocalypse? I do hope so, I don't think I can take much more.
posted by Grangousier at 6:54 AM on July 9


Boris has gone. He is now free to stand outside the tent pissing in. I expect him to quite literally do that.
posted by Grangousier at 7:01 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Out goes the turd polisher! Now for the putsch
posted by Myeral at 7:06 AM on July 9


Boris down the ratline. Quelle surprise.
posted by skybluepink at 7:07 AM on July 9


Davis and Johnson gone on the same day? It can't be Christmas yet, it's too sunny out.

And at least we know that Dominic Raab won't be our new Foreign Secretary. Although, because they didn't end up in DExEU, perhaps Gove... or Grayling... nonononoooooadhjghsfgsu
posted by rory at 7:07 AM on July 9


I guess it's all down to the back benchers now and them realizing a vote of no confidence in May and an election contest right now would be... not good for the Tories electoral chances down the road.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:10 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Pretty soon they'll be reduced to appointing (the disgraced former defence secretary) Liam Fox to every single cabinet position.
posted by dng at 7:10 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


They wait until the first business day after Chequers so they didn't have to suffer the indignity of riding home from there in a black cab. They take the ministerial car home, thrash it, and then resign on Monday.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:12 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]




By the way, the UK is hosting the Western Balkans Summit today.

But it seems there is a big problem...
posted by vacapinta at 8:27 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


@TorstenBell: Classic line from a impressively perky Brexit-focused civil servant: "we have at least now reached the kinetic phase of the car crash"
posted by Wordshore at 8:54 AM on July 9 [16 favorites]


If 15% of Conservative MPs (48 MPs) send a letter to the committee chair (Graham Brady currently) requesting the leader be removed they're required to have a leadership contest.
But anyone can send or rescind a letter at any time and no one but the chair knows how many letters he has.

Apparently, the 1922 committee will be meeting in 20 minutes.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:06 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Diesn't sound like the numbers work for the no confidence vote.

And Boris has said the Brexit dream is dying. Good. Hold it underwater until the bubbles stop.
posted by Devonian at 10:25 AM on July 9 [8 favorites]


A couple of updates from the BBC political correspodent Iain Watson:
Govt loyalist leaves the meeting telling me point was made by ‘several senior colleagues’ that splits lead to a 1997 result and we must all stick together- this was well received No attacks on PM personally. But several attacks on the policy #1922Committee

Leading Brexiteer says he wants to change the policy not the PM as he emerges from #1922Committee
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:35 AM on July 9


> Leading Brexiteer says he wants to change the policy not the PM as he emerges from #1922Committee

Sorry to butt in here - this is not my usual beat, since I can only cope with one civilization-ending crisis at a time. But from the little I've picked up so far:

As far as this "Brexiteer" is concerned, is the problem with the current policy that it is not extreme or drastic enough? So he's pushing for a harder Brexit than looks plausible?

And if so, how? Is the idea that the UK would just say kthxbai to the European Common Market, and then start negotiations from scratch after a full Brexit?
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:44 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


It's becoming clearer and clearer that they have no idea. Literally none. This is just a comforting story they've been telling themselves, and they always assumed that someone else would do the hard work as they always do. Point the civil service at it, they'll sort it out. Go to the EU and say "Give us everything we want with a cherry on the top" and the EU will just bend to their natural patrician charm. The US will hand them sweetheart trade deals like boxes of chocolates. It's all just narcissistic fantasy. Look at Davis' record - he's demonstrated over and over again that he has no conception of how trade works - inside the EU or outside - and even less willingness to learn.

At least some of them seem to think they can have the Empire back.

They're not at war with the EU. They are at war with reality itself. And reality always wins.
posted by Grangousier at 11:02 AM on July 9 [13 favorites]


A few more updates from Iain Watson:
Brandon Lewis emerges to tell us there is huge positivity for the PM at the #1922Committee and brexiteer Geoffrey Clinton Brown says Brexiteers aren’t United in criticism - he welcomes chequers as it will lead to control of our own laws for first time in 40 years

Prominent remainer : ‘there will be no leadership challenge now’ after #1922Committee
It sounds as though the Brexiteers are willing to let May continue to flounder through negotiations with the EU—the Chequers position is, of course, contradictory and unworkable—since they do not, of course, have any kind of feasible plan for Brexit themselves but will play for time. For example, Jacob Rees Mogg told Watson that he "believes Govt will still change position on #Brexit despite what the PM says".
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:03 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


It sounds as though the Brexiteers are willing to let May continue to flounder through negotiations with the EU—the Chequers position is, of course, contradictory and unworkable—since they do not, of course, have any kind of feasible plan for Brexit themselves but will play for time.

Well the problem is that any deal will need to be approved by parliament or the UK goes hardest of hard Brexits by default and that's what a lot of these nutjobs want. So they know they have the trump card in their back pocket that they can put a bullet in any sort of soft Brexit at the final step. They don't want May out because it just means finding another patsy dumb enough to be left holding the grenade when it explodes on March 9th 2019 and anyone with any sort of political ambition knows this and won't go near a 9 month premiership with a 40 foot barge pole.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 11:18 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Also, having a remainer doing Brexit means that no matter the outcome, Brexit (read: British Nationalism) cannot have failed, it can only have had been failed.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 11:20 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


There's a lot of ground to cover between here and 29th March next year, Definitely Scaramucci, so it's a little presumptuous to be talking about the strategies of the Tory challengers. Even if it were possible to make long term predictions about the strategies of Chaotic Brainless politicians.
posted by ambrosen at 12:24 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Every time I think this shower of incompetents surely can't make things any worse I’m proved wrong yet again.

At least it’s entertaining, in a grimdark meathook future kind of fashion. Can’t say I’m looking forward to the ending though.
posted by pharm at 12:30 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to think, viewing from afar, that maybe holding a referendum on Brexit wasn't a great idea. But there's a lot of that going around these days.
posted by Justinian at 12:45 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]




Jeremy, the quondam Hulture Secretary, is Foreign Secretary, Matt Hancock - of his own Facecock social media fame - is Hunt's replacement in Health.
posted by Devonian at 1:24 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


BURN
posted by Wordshore at 1:41 PM on July 9


If this isn't Peak Boris, then...
posted by Wordshore at 2:43 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Tom Watson on the Today program this morning: “he’s got a career ahead of him on ‘love yourself island’ - a new programme. He's the only politician in history who posed to sign his own resignation letter”.
posted by pharm at 1:02 AM on July 10


Great piece by Fintan O'Toole: What do we want? National humiliation. When do we want it? Now.
posted by rory at 5:20 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]




And Max Hastings, who once employed Boris, also gives him a good shoeing.

Lots of people really don't like Boris, especially those who have observed him up close. This is because he is a remarkably unpleasant man.
posted by Devonian at 7:30 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


One might even suggest he's "a nasty piece of work"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:18 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]




I absolutely refuse to link to it, because it's The Sun, but they were running a story late yesterday: Ministers draw up secret plans to stockpile processed food in case of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Hashtag #LetThemEatSpam I guess.
posted by Wordshore at 4:47 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


As someone said - it'll be ration books next.
posted by Devonian at 5:37 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


As someone said - it'll be ration books next.
Isn't that what the brexiteers are longing for, the good old days?
posted by mumimor at 3:38 AM on July 11


Hey, Brexiters: Spam and other tinned goods are still widely available. It's still possible to make homemade wholemeal bread and mock apricot tarts out of carrots. You can even dig a hole in your back yard, put a tin roof over it and go and sleep in it, and pretend the traffic noises are Home Guard armoured cars driving past. You can live out your own personal "Very Well, Alone" fantasy without dragging the rest of us into it.
posted by rory at 3:50 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Oh here's a fun thing... the lights could go off in Northern Ireland, because they basically get subbed by Ireland and if we crashed out with a no deal that could all go. The solution... a Dunkirk type flotilla of barges with every generator we can scrounge up, floating out in the Irish sea.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:00 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Well, there goes the financial sector. Services (80 percent of the economy) not in the white paper after all. "We cannot be a rule taker," says the Gov, "where we're not at the table making the rules" - so the UK won't follow EU service rules? Good luck with that...
posted by Devonian at 5:50 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]




Ian Dunt has read the White Paper so we don't have to, or don't have to immediately:
After two years the government has finally published a Brexit white paper. It runs to 104 pages but is full of so much muddled thinking, desperation and fantasy that they could have done it in five and saved us all a lot of time.

To jumble up the Brexit jargon, it is cakeism-minus. They have a cake, they have eaten it, some of it is still magically on the plate, and the rest is being vomited up on the floor.
posted by Grangousier at 10:09 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]




Par for the course, then.
posted by Grangousier at 10:17 AM on July 12


Stoke Newington-ish, here: three-bird Osprey overflights the last fifteen minutes — the presidential flight, unbearably oppressive and loud. I assume the shitbucket himself is already ensconced in his digs, so I have no idea what these sorties are for other than chaff and intimidation.

Brothers, sisters and others: they are loud. Heavy manners.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:52 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


The Sun's Tom Newton Dunn gives a preview on Twitter of his cover-page "world exclusive" interview with Trump: "May has wrecked Brexit…US deal is off"
WORLD EXCL: Donald Trump warns Theresa May her soft Brexit blueprint will "kill" any future trade deal with the US. Full @POTUS interview with @TheSun from 11pm.

Trump tells me: "If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal".

Trump also reveals to me PM ignored his advice on Brexit negotiations: “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me".
The interview itself is pure shit-hurling:
He said: “I have a lot of respect for Boris. He obviously likes me, and says very good things about me. I was very saddened to see he was leaving government and I hope he goes back in at some point. I think he is a great representative for your country.”

Asked if the ex-minister could be in No 10 one day, he replied: “Well I am not pitting one against the other. I am just saying I think he would be a great Prime Minister. I think he’s got what it takes.”
The orange cockwomble makes one yearn for the statesman-like diplomatic touch of Willard Mitt Romney.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:10 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Aaaand 45 has shivved May already - interview in the Sun saying she's fucked up Brexit and there can't be a US trade deal under the terms in the white paper.

It's almost as if he's taking dictation from Boris.
posted by Devonian at 3:11 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Here's some more crap the tangerine shit-gibbon is throwing, per The Scum:
• Accused EU leaders of destroying its culture and identity by allowing in millions of migrants
• Tore into London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not standing up to terrorists
• Blamed Khan for spiralling crime in the capital
• Denied once branding Theresa May a “bossy schoolteacher”
• Maintained he would keep ties with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin despite the Salisbury Novichok poisonings
• Demanded Britain and other Nato countries spend more on defence
• Spoke of his sadness at feeling unwelcome in the capital by anti-Trump protesters
• Claimed millions of Brits backed his policies
It's almost as if he's taking orders from Putin to fuck over the Special Relationship.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:21 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Can't decide whether Trump an idiot manchild or taking marching orders from Putin as Doktor Zed said. Any recent Fox coverage of Johnson that might have influenced him? Or just Johnson praising him a few months ago?

What's the Sun's angle on this? Are they in full-on support for Johnson these days, over the sitting Tory PM? (I'm assuming they're hard Brexit?)
posted by Pink Frost at 6:20 PM on July 12


Owned by Rupert Murdoch, dedicated to evil for the sake of evil.
posted by Artw at 8:46 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]








The Guardian's Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) continues to draw the connections between Brexit and the 2017 election interference:
NEW: Mueller’s investigation reaches Britain. Exclusive insight into UK’s forensic referendum data investigation which is now working with FBI. Cambridge Analytica data ‘accessed from Russia’
The Observer: Elizabeth Denham: ‘Data Crimes Are Real Crimes’

Mueller laid out the Russian intelligence op on Friday. Next comes the data. Which is where UK’s Elizabeth Denham comes in she is the data cop.

This is really significant. On Friday, we learned from Mueller that Russians stole DNC data analytics. We reveal today, Denham was with FBI last week & that Cambridge Analytica’s servers were accessed from Russia

It all comes down to data. Mueller is following the data trail. & Denham is following the data trail. This is vast, complex & transnational. And these 2 firms at heart of Brexit - Cambridge Analytica & AIQ - are linked not just to one another. But also to Trump.
(Cross-posted from the current US politics megathread.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:51 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


On a clifftop we waited. In silence we stood
then a voice: "Remind me, why is cliff-jumping good?"
But we looked down at our shoes, baffled and stumped,
Then out of embarrassment, we held hands and jumped.

"Hold my hand while we jump off this cliff" - Brian Bilston.
posted by rongorongo at 5:48 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


The BBC, which has been doing an incomprehensibly poor job reporting on Brexit, if anything underplays the news behind this headline: Vote Leave Broke Electoral Law, Says Electoral Commission
Brexit campaign group Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and referred to the police after an Electoral Commission probe said it broke electoral law.

The watchdog said it exceeded its £7m spending limit by funnelling £675,315 through pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave.

The founder of BeLeave, Darren Grimes, has been fined £20,000 and referred to the police, along with Vote Leave official David Halsall.[...]

The Electoral Commission has referred Mr Grimes and Mr Halsall to the Metropolitan Police in relation to false declarations of campaign spending, and handed over files "in relation to whether any persons have committed related offences" that fall outside the watchdog's remit.
Incidentally, the overspending went to the Cambridge Analytica-linked digital marketing firm Aggregate IQ.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:44 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


The Electoral Commission has referred Mr Grimes and Mr Halsall to the Metropolitan Police in relation to false declarations of campaign spending, and handed over files "in relation to whether any persons have committed related offences" that fall outside the watchdog's remit.

Has anyone seen any analysis of what kind of thing the police might be looking for in this situation? ‘Vote Leave has been referred to the police’ sounds dramatic and ominous, but I don’t actually have any idea what it means.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 4:32 AM on July 18


UK, YouGov poll
EU membership referendum (three-way question)

First preference:
Remain: 50%
Leave with deal: 17%
Leave without deal: 33%

Second preference:
Remain: 55%
Leave with no deal: 45%

Field work: 16/07/18 – 17/07/18
Sample size: 1657
posted by vacapinta at 7:25 AM on July 18 [5 favorites]


Run-offs work.
posted by Artw at 7:27 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I alternate between supine despair and helpless rage. Is there anything that can actually be done? For the sake of my stressed arteries?

Badger my MP? I'm willing, but I have no idea what to say and I don't think incoherent wailing will be productive. Also, while he has responded politely and with relevance in the past, I have a strong feeling any communication about Brexit will be met with boilerplate brushoff. (He's a Tory, and this is an area that voted for Brexit.*) Still...?

Support the Lib Dems?? (I know.. but?)

Do we just have to watch this horrible shitshow play out? Without even an illusion of (non street based) protest?

(*This was dismaying to discover.)
posted by Ilira at 10:26 AM on July 18


Faisal Islam has more details on that YouGov poll:

Throw this into the mix. extraordinary @yougov numbers polling the @JustineGreening 3 way exit deal referendum idea...
Remain on 50% after first round, 55:45 after reallocations, winning in first round even with 50-64 year olds.
(Tweet has graphic table of vote breakdown)

It's only one poll, but a decent sample size and the figures are compelling. Astonishing 17 percent only for soft Brexit, even before it's been comprehensively marmalised by the EU negotiators. May is indeed taking an option backed by less than one in five voters. But as Remain is at 50 percent in the first round, unless all the soft Brexiters decide a hard brexit is better than a no Brexit then Remain wins.

About 30-odd percent of the softies would rather Remain than harden. And given the demographic shift every day towards Remain - which wins immediately without retirees - and given how much unutterable nastiness will be appearing over the summer, I can't see hard Brexit picking up the pace.

And I hope this poll, solitary though it is, gets thrown in the face of every "We are delivering the will of the people" Brexiteer who spouts out the guff as if it's a true spell of summoning for unicorns.
posted by Devonian at 1:06 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


So the options at the point seem to be:
1. The whole thing gets called off: but the normal route towards that would probably need a referendum - to be agreed on by the government and arranged in time, and to return a very convincing "remain" result.
2. Hard Brexit - since we are past the point of being able to arrange a soft one - let alone gather support for it.
3. No deal Brexit - which will be the default unless progress can be made on option 2 very soon.

The economic and practical impact of options 2 and 3 will be "serious" and "catastrophic" respectively. Many people choose to ignore political issues unless they are sufficiently salient to boil over into their everyday concerns. They might be able to ignore looming threats such as the loss of their job, their ability to travel freely, the ability of their local hospital to find staff - but everybody will notice when it suddenly becomes hard to procure their prescription medicines and packs of toilet rolls. Then they will be upset. But will anything happen? At that point we will either be looking at a panicked stumbling into options 2 or 3 - or an unconventional set of events which delivers option one.
posted by rongorongo at 2:13 AM on July 19


Many people choose to ignore political issues unless they are sufficiently salient to boil over into their everyday concerns.

And by then it will be too late of course. In many ways it is the unconcerned middle that is taking the country over the cliff. Their attitude goes from 'I voted Remain but Leave won so lets get on with it.' to 'Haven't we left yet?' Their MPs know this too and know that their re-election depends more on their ability to fix local potholes than their position on Brexit.

Of all the options there doesn't seem to be one now that won't leave about 30% of the populace extremely angry. Either because the country was pulled out of the EU by an election campaign that violated electoral laws, or because the country was kept in the EU by the neo-liberal order who found a way to subvert the will of the people. It is hard to see how this gets better.

What will Britain look like next March if we don’t agree a Brexit deal? The silence is terrifyingly deafening. - by Gina Miller.
posted by vacapinta at 2:35 AM on July 19 [5 favorites]


So I had a little search for Border Planning Group mentioned in the chilling article posted by vacapinta and didnt really get much info apart from this: -

The Treasury said the work was being undertaken by both individual departments with customs and borders responsibilities, and by the cross-departmental Border Planning Group – which was criticised in December by the PAC for only having met seven times since its creation earlier in the year.
Responding to a request from MPs for more clarity over the work of the Border Planning Group, and for an individual to be “put in charge” and given lead responsibility for co-ordinating its work, the Treasury suggested it had made a twin appointment.
It said: “Two permanent secretaries have been appointed to lead the work of the Border Planning Group which focuses on co-ordinating the operational aspects of departmental plans for dealing with border impacts of EU exit, with Department for Exiting the European Union coordinating policy to inform negotiations.”
It did not identify the permanent secretaries referred to, but added: “The government is keeping under review how roles could be clarified.”


UK is so fucked it beggars belief.
posted by adamvasco at 8:11 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]


I’m a Tory MEP. Hardline Brexiteers in my party are destroying the British union - "English nationalists have made it clear that they will crush anything in their path – including peace in Northern Ireland." BY CHARLES TANNOCK
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:37 PM on July 19






Robert Peston: ".@theresa_may says 70 "technical notices" for businesses and households will be published in Aug and Sept setting out how we can all prepare for a no-deal Brexit (should that be what happens). Yikes"

Mumsnet on prepping.
posted by Helga-woo at 9:29 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]




I keep rewriting this trying to not imply things or have excess tone etc, and maybe all of this is happening and I'm just not seeing it.

What is being done to ensure a good exit? Like, I see protests against exit, but not to ensure a exit that protects all European jobs and visas etc. At what point does the switch in focus occur. Is it not going to? Has it already happened on the Lexit side of things? If so why not?

I guess I just assume most Remainers are putting all their chips on another referendum, but I don't know.

To be clear, I haven't seen nearly as much of this from Lexiteers as I'd expected either, but while I don't know the reasons, as I understand it Remainers outnumber Lexiteers by an order of magnitude, so I can imagine some of their issues.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 12:36 AM on July 23


The Permanent European Citizens Initiative begins today.They need 1 million votes spread across 7 different countries. Whether it can or will make a practical difference to UK citizens is IMHO somewhat doubtful but at this stage anything is worth considering.
posted by epo at 1:18 AM on July 23 [2 favorites]




According to noted rhyming slang Jeremy Hunt, there's a danger of an 'accidental' no-deal Brexit for which the British people will blame the EU.

I think it's the use of the word 'accidental' that moves this beyond the usual delusional, self-serving, reality denying run of the mill bollockry and into the realm of finding a toddler with a can of petrol, a box of matches and the smoking remains of your home "but it was an aaaaaaccident".
posted by Devonian at 11:15 AM on July 23 [2 favorites]


So we've come to this: Hunt is preemptively casting the EU as the villain in the Brexit debacle, while May goes off to try to 'sell' a version of Brexit to the carefully vetted masses that has already been rejected by both the swivel-eyed loons of her own party (as unacceptably watered-down) and the EU side itself (as unworkable).

On one hand the ramping-up of the 'no deal' threat is clearly a ham-fisted attempt to force the EU to blink first; on the other it's leading to general paranoia about the spectre of rationing and martial law, and abdicating responsibility for the latter is the reason for the attempts by mainstream Tories to paint themselves as the aggrieved party trying to bravely fulfil the 'will of the people' whatever the cost, whilst being unfairly boxed in at every turn. No incompetence here. Nope, none at all.

Labour seem to be taking the approach of letting the Tories sink their own ship, even if it means massive damage to the UK. Understandable, and possibly expedient in terms of regaining power, but arguably cowardly nevertheless. And judging by comments from even the hardest-of-hardened Brexiteers, the chance of any kind of positive outcome in the coming decades is effectively nil. Anyone can predict a rosy future 50 years from now, just as anyone can try to predict next year's weather if they choose. More fool them, and more fool us if we believe them.

What happens over the next few months is anyone's guess, really. The only certainty is that the very rich will find a way to profit from the chaos. Pardon my pessimism.
posted by pipeski at 4:44 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


James Patrick argued over a year ago that Downing Street was preparing for a no deal/blame the EU endgame, and it's certainly looking that way.

Does anyone fancy putting together a new Brexit thread? I'm away on holiday tomorrow, when this one will expire, and don't know if I'll have a chance today. Wordshore's UK catchall thread has had some Brexit comments, but a dedicated thread would be useful. Or perhaps some related threads on how to prepare for civil unrest and food shortages.

And I have to note somewhere this breathtaking piece that did the rounds of Twitter yesterday. Thanks to the Times paywall I haven't read it beyond the lede and headline, but they're bad enough. Never thought I'd see "at least Mussolini made the trains run on time" in The Times. (He didn't, of course.)
posted by rory at 11:50 PM on July 23




John Major on Marr was saying there's always been a small number Tory MPs who want us out of Europe totally, no matter what the other consequences will be. Up until now they did not really matter but with the slim majority that May has got they can vote down any Brexit compromise so he thinks we are heading now for a no deal and depressingly, bar some miracle, I agree with him.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:33 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Take fright on Brexit: even the civil service head is telling us to panic
Polly Toynbee at the Guardian
Eight years of austerity has only cut debt by shifting a financial deficit on to a social deficit everywhere else. Philip Hammond, the chancellor and austerian-in-chief, has said taxes must rise to pay for the NHS, but he will return to his autumn budget besieged by needs in every threadbare service. Austerity was not accompanied by telling the public to expect less of everything for ever.
and
For now, the Brexit crisis distracts from all its other failures. When the former attorney general Dominic Grieve tells Sky News that no deal will cast us into “a state of emergency – basic services we take for granted might not be available”, Cassandra-like, he is ignored as Project Fear mark two. But when Doug Gurr, the head of Amazon UK – no political player – warns of “civil unrest” within two weeks of a no-deal guillotine, we should all sit up and pay attention. He said that to Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, at a meeting with business chiefs last Friday: Amazon is making contingency plans.

Everyone will take fright at the government’s own warnings to businesses and households. John Manzoni, the head of the civil service, told MPs last week that a no-deal break would be “almost unimaginable”, and have “horrendous consequences”. Already the government warns that the M26 in Kent will be a “holding area” for 1,400 trucks to ease gridlock as 10,000 lorries a day are potentially delayed by new EU customs checks. Mazoni warns of the need to stockpile food and medicines: “We have to put contingencies in place.” Stockpiling food – that’s an order to panic! And why not – half our food is imported, of which 80% comes from Europe via Dover.
If anyone didn't know already, this all so stupid it is really hard to contemplate. Also, the Brexiteers are blaming it all on the deep state, just like their friends on the other side of the Atlantic.
posted by mumimor at 2:36 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's impossible not to look for evil conspiracies, because it's difficult to believe that they could do everything quite so badly wrong so reliably through incompetence alone.

I realise that one shouldn't attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity, but there comes a point when stupidity is exhibited on such a scale that it becomes indistinguishable from malice anyway.
posted by Grangousier at 3:08 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


The entire conservative project these days is one of malice writ large.
posted by dng at 3:21 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]




There’s going to be some quality leopards-eating-faces action there.
posted by Artw at 6:09 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


The British abroad, despite their generally gammony, Union Jack all over, nature, voted heavily Remain, though, didn't they? The interesting wild card is if they're forcibly deported back the UK with a grievance and what effect they have. Probably just ramp up the racism, though, I expect. The problem with feedback is it tends to squeal louder and louder until someone smashes the amplifier with a hammer or it explodes of its own accord. Or a decent sound tech sensibly reduces the volume on the channels that are feeding back, but the chances of that happening here... I think I'd put money on actual leopards eating actual faces before I'd bet on common sense and practical wisdom making any kind of appearance.
posted by Grangousier at 6:16 AM on July 24


The British abroad [...] voted heavily Remain, though, didn't they?

Of course, a lot of them were unable to vote at all, either through having lived abroad for too long (likely to include quite a lot of those retired British expats...) or through the logistical complexities of the international postal vote.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:29 AM on July 24


Ooops.... No-deal Brexit will make it ‘illegal’ to pay pensions to retired British expats living in EU, MPs told

And just like that, Gibraltar has a purpose.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:32 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


We've gone from Brexit being cure-all unicorn farts for the economy to assurances that 'there will be adequate food'.

I'd make a joke about the colour of the ration books, but half of Twitter already has.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:44 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]




Some not sucky news for once? Offshore owners of British property to be forced to reveal names
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on July 24


The Independent (admittedly an outsider voice) has started to push really hard for a second referendum, and it doesn't seem totally unreasonable, at least if you're swayed on Dominic Grieve's argument. I don't know what it would take for May et al to go that way, but it does seem like a possible 'out' for all concerned.
posted by pipeski at 4:07 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


It would be optimistic to think that that was May's plan all along - give the headbangers a lot of rope to tangle themselves up in, let events (and lurid Summer newspaper headlines about food stockpiling and the collapse of western civilisation) scare people, then offer a three-way referendum that Remain would win easily. Except, of course, we haven't quite got there yet, and that kind of sneaky but hubristic politicking is how we got into this mess in the first place.
posted by Grangousier at 4:21 PM on July 24


I don't know what it would take for May et al to go that way, but it does seem like a possible 'out' for all concerned.

May would never call a second referendum. It would destroy the Tory party for a generation. The hard right Brexiteers would bolt to a newly resurged UKIP/BNP and they would split the right's votes instead of the Lib Dems and SNP acting as spoilers for Labour. She will absolutely bring the country down to save the party.

Notice how May is all but daring the Brexiteers to have a leadership battle or a general. Less tenuous governments and PMs have fallen for far less. Nobody wants a 9 month premiership and nobody wants to oversee the omnishambles that destroys Britain. JRM can say he has the 48 votes but Teresa is the one with the dead man's trigger to the metaphorical dynamite strapped to the Tory party.

The stupid thing is, Jezza could literally be the man who saves Britain. Stand up and say "enough with the insanity, have a general, I'll be the Remainer turning this into a proxy referendum and I'll rescind Article 50 if I win". The Tories want Brexit so fucking badly to keep the party together? Let them have that flaming turd bag going into a general.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 5:12 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


The whole "food will be really expensive if we have to go to WTO rules" and "imports backing up at Dover" thing: presumably the government could just temporarily waive the access rules? Not charge tariffs on the food, and not bother with full customs inspections? If the alternative was literally running out of food? (I mean, there would be major risks around smuggling, but it could be worth it temporarily?).
posted by Pink Frost at 6:12 PM on July 24


Just seen a 'if Brexit goes ahead add 5$ shipping to orders for the UK' on a kickstarter listing... I doubt it'll be the only one.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:24 PM on July 24


May's only real option now is to try and cobble something together that will be acceptable to Europe and ram it through parliament at the last minute... I suspect all this 'preparations for no deal' is, in part, a project fear tactic to put the frighteners on wavering MPs (and more importantly their constituents so they can put the frighteners on too). If it's likely she's still not got the numbers due to extreme Brexiteers then a General Election in the autumn with a 'This brexit plan or nothing' manifesto is still on the cards.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:11 AM on July 25


The thing about making a stock-pile, whether you are a government creating it in a giant warehouse or one of us making it on a shelf in the garage, is that it is a measure designed to ameliorate a temporary shortage. Something like a blizzard or a drought. However, if the problem is that you have just severed your own supply lines as part of a measure which cannot be undone without years of trade agreement negotiation - then a stock-pile will not help very much.

If we have "no deal" - or a hard Brexit - on March 29th then there will be some classes of goods and services which become unobtainable both immediately and in the long term - anything which is highly perishable and thus unable to withstand a lengthy delay in customs - or which it is not legal to provide for regulatory reasons. Not much use in stock-piling this stuff anyway.

Then we have "just in time" products and services where a steady stream of demand adjusted input is expected. For example anything needed for any factory these days. What we will see here is that it will be the availability of these items - rather than the demand - which will determine productivity. Which is not good for an economy.

And finally we will have the "difficult but possible" products/services. These will include those items which take a while to get through red-tape and customs - but which will get there eventually. Also on this list are locally made items which don't have to go through all these importing steps. The shortage of these items will inevitably mean that their prices rise. Which will be a big problem at the point where the process of generating money by exporting things has become so much harder.
posted by rongorongo at 12:59 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


« Older "Their Protocol Doesn’t Help Things It Makes...   |   Rarer than nessie Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments