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Westministenders. Boris and co learn the basics - and limits - of British sovereignty and democracy.

(1000 Posts)
RedToothBrush Wed 12-Oct-16 16:42:15

There is a plan.

It is not a very good one, but May says she has a plan.

As May declared a revolution and set out her vision for a Britain ‘open’ for free trade and hard working people she managed to further drive in the wedge of division into a society which needed measured and sensitive handling.

Her speech was met, with much derision and horror both here and abroad. Even UKIP voices say the Conservatives went too far.

Brexit began to take shape. It appeared hard and fast. Without the consent of parliament. It was to be run by the executive alone. As the ex-Polish Foreign Minister points out, the shape of it decided because it was viewed as the ‘easiest’ option. Not the one in the best interests of the country. Leaving the EU has become indistinguishable to the Single Market. We are told by Mr Davis that there is no down side to this.

Then something else began to happen and the plan is beginning to not look so clever…

The pound plunged.

Mr Hammond, who has seemed to have resisted the urge to take the hallucinatory drugs being handed out in vast quantities around the Cabinet Table, came out saying that we must consider the economic reality of Brexit.

It was followed by a leaked paper that put the cost of Hard Brexit at between £38bn and £66bn a year. Our EU membership cost £8bn last year. Where are those NHS buses now?

The government response? Oh that was George. He just made it up for ‘Project Fear’. Or something to that effect.

The government on the one hand were saying how great Brexit will be, yet were not prepared to make the case in parliament. The Times editorial came out as categorically for the Single Market. Even the Sun on Sunday editorial spoke up for the Single Market (though was still in the land of cake wanting immigration control too).

David Davis took to the Commons to answer questions and was met with a chorus of rising alarm. Whilst he confirmed that the majority of EU citizens here do have their right to remain here as being their legal entitlement, it does not guarantee their rights under this. He echoed the language of the citizen of nowhere in May’s speech and, perhaps can be seen to make, the stark message that you should consider taking on British Citizenship.

Parliament has started to wake up to what is at stake. It is not just whether we stay in the EU or not, but Brexit presents a challenge to democratic processes and threatens to bypass the checks and balances to power that parliament is supposed to provide. It is a threat to our international reputation as a champion of liberal values and democratic stature. It is a threat to our economic security. It is a threat to our diplomatic relations, with the reckless comments and language coming from some. .

The stirrings of rebellion and a credible opposition come from a variety of quarters. From both leavers and remainers alike. From every party including the governments. Initially the government refused to give, so Labour announced an opposition debate on transparency of Brexit and it all started to fall apart. Faced with a vote they could not get enough support to win they made an apparent U-Turn and agreed to parliamentary scrutiny of the government’s position ahead of a50 within certain limits.

Keir Starmer, making the point that Human Rights Lawyers are not to be messed with, has written 170 questions, one for every day before the end of March when a50 is due to be triggered, for Davis to respond to.

However, the agreement to this debate on negotiations is none binding and there is no date for it as yet. The government must not be allowed to pay lip service to rebels. They must be held to this reversal.

Today’s opposition debate seems to suggest that the government definition of scrutiny is wheeling out David Davies and get him to waffle a lot and not say anything. This has gone down like a lead balloon. The government can not maintain this. Something will give. He has still refused to release a green or white paper which many expected.

May’s choice will be blunt. She either keeps pretending Santa is real and can deliver the pony whilst losing the house in the process or she owns up to the looming cold hard truth of reality.

May might be fully committed to taking us off the cliff top no matter what but she’s going to have to fight to get there.

In the best interests of the country the pressure must be kept up. There must be resistance to the ‘Little England’ mentality and orders by the Mail and the Express to silence those unpatriotic ‘agents of Brussels’ who are raising legitimate concerns that need to be considered as part of the process.

Its either this or we will have to rely on the proposed new Royal Yacht to send Kate off round the world begging for trade deals “to once again project the prestige of this nation across the globe” as Mr Gove says. Prestige we still had before the referendum was announced.

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Oct-16 16:45:01

Brexit Calendar

SNP Conference: 13th – 15th October
High Court hearing on a50: 13th / 17th / 18th October
Witney By Election: 20 Oct
The Department for Exiting the European Union question sessions in Parliament: Thursday 20th October
US Presidential Election: 8th November
Romanian Parliamentary Elections: Nov/Dec
Austrian Presidential Election Rerun: 6 Dec
Expected Final ruling on a50 people's challenge: Dec
Suggested a50 date: By end of March 2017
French Presidential Election 1st Round: 23 April 2017
French Presidential Election 2nd Round: 7th May 2017
The Great Repeal Bill: In Parliamentary Session after May.
EU Budget talks for the next 7 years: Mid 2017
German Federal Election: Between 27 August and 22 October 2017
European Parliamentary Elections: June 2019
Next General Election expected: May 2020

Unicornsarelovely Wed 12-Oct-16 16:48:33

Thank you Red. I can't believe how many threads we've had (I was on the first ones but name changed some time ago). And still no further forward in terms of what Brexit actually is...

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Oct-16 16:53:44

Well my spamming the threads has helped with the number we've had, but yeah 3 months on, and we are have got nowhere so far.

I think perhaps today's debate has been progress, but the government still don't get it. There will be a breaking point if that continues.

Motheroffourdragons Wed 12-Oct-16 17:00:07

Great job, yet again, Red. Lots to digest today!

BlueEyeshadow Wed 12-Oct-16 17:06:21

Thanks for a great summary, and for watching the debate so the rest of us don't have to, Red. thanks wine

Really scary times, not least the idea of Nicky Morgan making a coherent and rational speech. [/flippant]

It is good to see some opposition finally emerging, and about time too.

merrymouse Wed 12-Oct-16 17:21:00

Well done Red!

GhostofFrankGrimes Wed 12-Oct-16 17:24:51

Re: reports of rising food costs due to bombing of pound. Pardon the pun do you think the penny will drop with leave voters when their grocery bill goes up?

TheForeignOffice Wed 12-Oct-16 17:30:04

Red star

I think there has definitely been real progress today. Or at least high level exposure of the new government's insanity/incompetence/egomainia and an understanding at large that TM needs be reined in big time.

Note I said "reined" not "reigned" wink

Since we're on the fast track to economic and social oblivion unless she's stopped, I'll take that as a half-win. Yay. If it meanders to a breaking point, so be it.

I also feel that out of the past few months of division, something more positive has emerged; cross-party unity on this issue which was demonstrated very strongly today. I've also felt this on a personal level...possibly because I know I can't vote Tory with TM at the helm!

Thanks to everyone here for participating in these threads, they have taught me so much and really challenged my thinking.

Nightofthetentacle Wed 12-Oct-16 17:34:21

Yup another star from me!

Cripes though, can barely believe it's only been 3ish months. What next?

It did occur to me to wonder whether these threads will stick around forever - I assume so, but it would be fascinating to go back and read them in about 20 years time from my bunker in the independent nation of Shetland when I assume politics might have settled down to a more normal frequency.

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Oct-16 17:36:48

Stephen Timms LAB says that German Business Group - like our CBI - suggested that we might be able to persuade the EU to change the definition of 'Freedom of Movement' to only mean people who have a job contract.

It would require a lot of hard work to achieve but it makes sense. I think that would be acceptable to most in the UK and would be positive for jobs.

You could, through this system, probably see which areas need development in this country - without bloody lists.

I'm perhaps sceptical of its political acceptability abroad but its better than some of the other suggestions I've heard.

TheElementsSong Wed 12-Oct-16 17:37:47

Thanks for another excellent summary Red!

Peregrina Wed 12-Oct-16 18:05:47

possibly because I know I can't vote Tory with TM at the helm! I met two ex-Tories yesterday, incandescent with rage about what TM was doing.

suggested that we might be able to persuade the EU to change the definition of 'Freedom of Movement' to only mean people who have a job contract.

This would keep a good majority happy, but I think the genie of racism has been let out of the bottle now, and can't go back in. On the other hand, using a different metaphor, when hurricanes make landfall, they blow out, because there is is no warm water to feed them. So perhaps this could also blow out?

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Oct-16 18:09:31

How long before we need a EU bailout due to our pound being worth bugger all?

Peregrina Wed 12-Oct-16 18:23:21

How long before we need a EU bailout due to our pound being worth bugger all?

Now that would be very, very interesting!

Thanks Red for your tireless work on these threads. You have been helping to save my sanity these past 3 and a half months.

mupperoon Wed 12-Oct-16 18:26:12

Awesome summary, thanks for these threads from a lurker on the verge of a Brexit induced nervous breakdown. They're keeping me sane, and have given me the info and confidence I needed to deluge my MP and even May herself with outraged missives. Have never been politically engaged until now.

MirabelleTree Wed 12-Oct-16 18:39:57

Another who finds these threads invaluable. I can fill in a snippet of what Redwood said. He said that only 10% of Remainers felt themselves to be Europeans plus fully engaged with the European project and it would be very hard to build bridges with them (or something along those lines). Anna Soubry referred to that in her speech and said she refuted that.

Peregrina Wed 12-Oct-16 18:43:47

I think that Redwood should try talking to his constituents a little more. They had a very high Remain vote.

jaws5 Wed 12-Oct-16 18:48:42

These threads are my first point of reference now, thank you Red, outstanding summary again! Please don't stop! flowers

MirabelleTree Wed 12-Oct-16 18:48:53

I think he said he had. That is what he took from those conversations...

jaws5 Wed 12-Oct-16 18:50:04

Redwood is really as mad as he looks, did you see him on newsnight last night?!

Peregrina Wed 12-Oct-16 18:53:07

I presume he had cotton wool stuffed in his ears then.

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Oct-16 19:19:29

Hansard for today's debate.

Redwood said this as part of his speech:
The good news is that the remain voters are not, on the whole, passionate advocates of the European ideal and the European project, and that is why we will be able to put this together. According to polling, around 10% of all voters in Britain really believe in the whole European project—a perfectly noble vision of integration, political union, monetary union, a borderless society and so forth—but they are a very small minority in our country. I am afraid that we cannot easily build a bridge to those who want to be part of a united Europe, because it was clearly the view of both sides in the referendum that Britain did not want to be part of the single currency, the political union, a borderless Europe and so forth.

However, this does mean that an awful lot of the remain voters—the overwhelming majority, in fact—voted remain not to join the full project but because they had genuine fears that when we came out of the union, we would leave the single market. They felt that that could be damaging to trade, investment and business prospects. It is on that narrow point that the House of Commons has to concentrate its activities over the next few months, because it is on that central issue that our discussions with our European partners need to concentrate.

Hope that clears it up a bit.

Peregrina Wed 12-Oct-16 19:21:45

Oh dear there is now a stand off between Unilever and Tesco over who bears the cost increases which are traded in Euros and Dollars because of the falling value of the Pound.

I wonder which one will blink first? Tesco does have some right on its side in that when the £ is strong the benefits of lower purchasing prices don't get passed on. On the other hand, supermarket profits have been cut to the bone recently - all the fault of those German firms, Aldi and Lidl of course wink.

joangray38 Wed 12-Oct-16 19:24:06

It's amazing how Parliament will override local democracy re fracking but won't do the same for an advisory referendum

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