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Westministenders: Ding Ding Ding! All Aboard! Boris’s Brexit Bus gets going.

(1000 Posts)
RedToothBrush Thu 26-Jan-17 14:08:01

The Judges have Ruled.

They have restored parliamentary sovereignty to the people from the crown. Hard line Brexiteers don’t like it. This is how democracy looks though. Everyone gets a say, even people who you don’t agree with. Bloody Bremoaners. If irony wasn’t dead on 24th June, it was hung drawn and quartered on 24th Jan. I hope in time Gina Miller will get the recognition she deserves in history.

What does it actually mean for Brexit though? Can Brexit be thwarted by the decision?

Short Answer: No Brexit can not be stopped. The ‘Will of the People’ will be respected ultimately. (Though also worth stating the ‘Will of the People’ is not a fixed thing. The 23rd June vote was a mere snapshot of a moment in time. The Will of the People is ever changing and this should never be forgotten).

A majority of MPs have pledged to vote for a50. Whether the LDs, Greens, Labour Remainers and SNP oppose Brexit is ultimately irrelevant. Talks of ‘frustrating Brexit’ is nothing more than hot air from people frustrated they are not getting everything on their terms alone.

Why is the ruling important though? What next? What you should look out for? (Trying to keep this as brief as possible on immediate effect)

1)There is no reason (at this point) to suggest that May will miss her March 31st deadline.

2)The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill is scheduled to go through the HoC between Jan 31 and Feb 8. Two days of debate will be in the HoC on Tuesday (with parliament sitting until midnight) and Wednesday with the key vote on Wednesday. The following week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will go to the committee and report stages and for the third reading (See this FT article Brexit bill likely to face biggest trials in House of Lords for details of what happens at what stage). That makes 5 days total and is significantly less than other important European decisions. It is being viewed as an attempt to gag parliament by many.

3)The opposition normally agree to common’s timetabling before making such announcements. Several Labour and Conservative MPs are calling for Labour to vote against the timetable. It is not clear normal procedure has been followed, on this occasion, however Corbyn has imposed a three line whip on it after a heated shadow Cabinet meeting. This seems to suggest Labour whips agreed timetable. A large scale rebellion and (more) shadow cabinet resignations could well be on the cards.

4)Lords could yet, get more time to debate the bill than Commons, due to government not setting debating time. That alone would be something of a scandal.

5)The government have conceded over the publication of a white paper and say it now will happen, however rumours are that the government are trying to delay its publication until AFTER the a50 debate has finished. This makes the whole thing a farce. Its not obvious what Tory Rebels will do under the circumstances. It is theoretically possible there may be enough for a government defeat, but that is a now an extreme possibility with Corbyn imposing a three line whip. (That in itself might embolden a few Tories though).

6)When MPs voted to support a50 in December this only passed due to an amendment requiring the government to produce a plan. Always worth remembering this important caveat. It will be omitted by a lot of media coming media coverage if MPs support any amendments or seek to obstruct a vote due to a lack of detail as a ‘betrayal’. It is not. It is a consistent request and a necessary part of scrutiny.

7)The Brexit Select Committee which is supposed to scrutinise the government just got more important. Its recommendations carry weight and will influence the decisions that MPs make.

8)Amendments to a50 law will be crucial. The SNP have suggested they want FIFTY. Most will just be rubbish, but they hopefully would have at least generate proper debate. This could be a worthwhile process regardless of how it might be framed, however the timetable makes that difficult if not impossible to do. Rather than frustrating things it could have been part of a positive process to help build consensus and tackle certain concerns.

9)Labour has been handed a chance to get out of the government blaming them for a bad deal. It gives them a chance to hold the government more accountable and get their teeth into things. It is their chance to throw away. They need to stand up and not roll over. Corbyn's Three Line Whip is exactly that. Now is the time to pester MPs over amendments. (Equally applies to Leavers concerned about Tory Brexit).

10)Chuka Umunna has suggested an amendment to give £350 million to the NHS. It would be an opportunity to draw some much needed battle lines about the future of the NHS and a chance to make ground to protect it which would be an important position for Labour. I don’t see it happening, but you can hope.

11)The danger for Labour is to join SNP in a ‘road block’ of amendments. They will need to be selective in their approach.

12)What Rebel Tories do next is important. These are both Leavers and Remainers and this should not be forgotten. It gives them a lot more power.

13)The Supreme Court ruled against the devolved assemblies. This has two effects. It might heighten the temptation and support for Independence. It might also force nationalists to work with their English peers where there is common ground. Thus unifying opposition in the United Kingdom.

14)The legal position is now established as the GFA only refers to NI’s place in the UK, not the EU. This leaves the door open for NI to choose Ireland and the EU. Similar rejection of the Sewell convention having legal effect, makes the case for a new Scottish Independence bid.

15)How 10) and 11) are handled is crucial to the country’s future. May needs to be more sensitive. Whilst there is no appetite for independence / reunification at present this may yet change as a result of Brexit. It does not necessarily weaken the nationalist’s hands in the long run. Amendments relating to assurance around devolution could still be a sticking point if other parties support. (I think fair chance they will in order to try and prevent break up of the UK. England & Wales dominated by Conservatives forever otherwise). It also put DUP in interesting position.

16)May is doing more shit stirring in NI saying the IRA needs to be investigated more and suggesting soldiers were ‘persecuted’. This is inflammatory stuff. If she carries on, don’t expect the GFA to last. At this point, I might be tempted to say, that she wants it to break so she can enforce Brexit and remove the Human Rights Act.

17)The issue of a50 reversibility has not gone away. The positions of the Labour Party and the Lib Dems would be vastly strengthened by reversibility. This is not to stop Brexit as such, but because it strengthens their demands to get a deal that they think is in the best interests of the UK because it would be potentially easier to reject a Tory Brexit. The legal case to try and get an ECJ referral is ongoing in Ireland and is important.

18)The possibility of a second referendum, has also not gone away gone away. If EU states have to agree to a deal and some put it to their citizens, that makes it more politically difficult for it not to be put to the British.

19)There is still a strong chance of more legal challenges to Brexit. There are lots of unresolved issues relating to rights which the Supreme Court did not resolve through the a50 challenge. This is for government to decide upon – and if it does not address those issues, then individuals will have no alternative to go through the courts to seek clarity on their positions. Most notably is positions of British Citizens abroad and EU citizen married or with children in UK.

20)Government has made a notable backtracking about the role of the rule of law and the authority of the courts. This is progress and perhaps an acknowledgement of how they handled it so poorly in December and how they can not act unopposed.

21)May’s speech last week was protective against this, so she can make the political point that she tried. She has in some ways protected herself against a Kipper backlash by actually proving it was not possible to carry out some of their proposals. This might actually be good in the long run for fighting the far right in the UK.

22)The Government Appeal was effectively totally unnecessary. Expect a FOI request to give someone a stick to beat the government with.

23)Don’t forget the Lords. They ultimately won’t oppose a50. It threatens their existence and would provoke a constitutional crisis which most will seek to prevent. Their job is to act in the national interest, to act for the best interests of the people, to uphold democracy and our constitutional framework. That means they can not ultimately block a50. They might insist on amendments though, especially if the Commons don’t do their job properly.

24)The Stoke and Copeland By-Elections are unlikely to be too affected by the ruling at this stage – as it is unchanged from Dec This might change though. If a50 going through parliament has been concluded by 23rd Feb, Remainers are most likely to be unhappy. If a50 bill looks like it is being ‘road blocked’ Leavers might get more enraged and motivated to turnout.

25)None of this means that Hard Brexit won’t happen. The EU still has the upper hand here. The deal we are seeking might not be possible. It does however mean that parliament rather than the government should have a more active role in proceedings.

26)Final point is that the ruling gives a chance of consensus in the National Interest and not just that of Hardline Leavers. The wording of the bill, perhaps doesn't. It looks like May’s Tory First Policy, is still full steam ahead. I thought it would change the tone of debate as the government would be forced to change tact. Its not looking likely.

Next stop on the Brexit –Aeroplane-- Bus; Trump's America.

That’s sure to be guaranteed torture to witness.

CarelessWispas Thu 26-Jan-17 14:15:19

wine thanks Red

lalalonglegs Thu 26-Jan-17 14:24:03

Thanks for the thread, Red. The shit-stirring in Northern Ireland is particularly sickening - it is the part of the UK most likely to suffer economically from Brexit anyway, why start blowing on the embers of sectarianism too?

I don't know how many times I have said this over the past seven months, but I still cannot believe the way in which the Labour Party are mishandling Brexit at every single turn angry.

SemiPermanent Thu 26-Jan-17 14:39:03

Thanks Red, as ever.

Corbyn is a spectacular cluster fuck quite frankly.
I'm a leaver, but even I don't think a 3 line whip is the way to go on this.

I want to see Brexit move forward, but I fully expected MPs who were staunch Remain & who represent Remain constituencies to vote that way (hence why I am pissed off that the odious Owen Smith will vote against A50 even though his constituency voted to Leave...).

Motheroffourdragons Thu 26-Jan-17 14:41:27

Thanks Red. Great summary of where we are. I thought the three line whip idea had been dropped ?

lalalonglegs Thu 26-Jan-17 14:46:58

If it's any comfort, Semi, my MP represents an overwhelmingly Remain constituency (c. 75%) and will vote to trigger A50 as will Jeremy Corbyn, Emily Thornberry, probably Diane Abbott etc etc. There seems to be a lot of skewed logic when it comes to the MPs' thinking on this smile

BigChocFrenzy Thu 26-Jan-17 14:57:07

Excellent summary, red

In a representative democracy, I want MPs to debate and decide issues on their merits, not what best helps their career and / or party.

MPs are supposed to be fulltime politicians, with the responsibility to invest their time to become more knowledgeable about these issues than the average voter < well, in between all those directorships & duckhouses > because voters have their own jobs and lives, normally outside politics.

So, after due consideration, an MP's vote may be for or against what their own constituents wish.
They should explain any unpopular decison they make, because those voters can boot them out at the next GE.

If MPs just voted as their constituents wanted, we'd have continued capital punishment up until at least the last few years.
We'd probably also abolish international aid and not accept any refugees without a whisker search or bone scan.

For similar reasons, I would hate to have any elected or politically appointed judges, as is common in the US system.

PattyPenguin Thu 26-Jan-17 15:03:45

It's possible that Owen Smith will vote against Brexit because it may have a negative impact on his constituency.

Many people from the Valleys commute to work in other areas, including the important cluster of automotive companies in South Wales (see Welsh Automotive Forum). If Brexit screws the UK automotive industry, this will not be good news for the Valleys.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 26-Jan-17 15:03:47

I agree, Corbyn deserves the title "Worst Ever Party Leader"

I'd whimsically like to think he was the Best Ever Tory Mole, but he came about his incompetence honestly.

TheSmurfsAreHere Thu 26-Jan-17 15:17:34

Thanks Red

WifeofDarth Thu 26-Jan-17 15:32:38


RedToothBrush Thu 26-Jan-17 15:46:59

norman smith ‏*@BBCNormanS*
Hmm...looming revolt against Corbyn over backing for Govt's Brexit bill ..smells like poss leadership crisis.(again).

Its either that or its defection time I think.
Does the Government’s Brexit Billwork?

A one-clause bill for Article 50

In which lawyers Jo Maugham and David Allen Green point to a the massive hole in a poorly written piece of legislation - one of the shortest bills ever written.

You could not make this up.

In May you might have said this was petty. After the Referendum Bill proved to be a pile of dogs do as it was not legally binding, you might think differently and you might seek to drive a bus through this. If they are paying attention.

The issue is that the Bill says the PM has the power to notify the EU of the decision, but since the referendum was only advisory, when did parliament make the decision? This bill is only to notify the EU of the decision that parliament has made!

And if the government can't manage to get this bill right, how do we think we are going to fair in negotiations with either the EU or Trump?

Michael Davies ‏*@mykdavies*
Is it possible to screw up a one page bill? Apparently so.

Why the surprise? Its an ongoing theme.
Labour Leave try and boost Ukip’s chances in Stoke with a ‘voodoo poll’

And they donated to UKIP just before the referendum...
Theresa May’s Trumpian delusions
Nick Cohen

RedToothBrush Thu 26-Jan-17 15:48:00

I agree, Corbyn deserves the title "Worst Ever Party Leader"

I think May and Cameron are in competition for that honour...

RedToothBrush Thu 26-Jan-17 15:49:39

Ellie Price @EllieJPrice
Lab MP tells me: Lab whips ringing Lab MPs telling them to vote for art50 while also telling them they themselves intend to vote against it.

At this rate the only one voting WITH the 3 line whip will be Corbyn

MitzyLeFrouf Thu 26-Jan-17 16:02:28


woman12345 Thu 26-Jan-17 16:05:11

Students for EU rally.
I'm sure students of Brexit are welcome!
4 February at 12:00–14:00
Richmond Terrace, London, SW1A 2, United Kingdom
Students For The EU is holding its first joint rally of the year in our capital city, London. Being held opposite Downing Street, Theresa May will have no option but to take notice of us. Our aim will be to put across this years campaign schedule and to have the people's thoughts and feelings heard. We want to show the government that we're angry about how Theresa May is making a fool of the British people and how we Europeans want to be heard.
The line up is currently ;
- Felix Milbank - President Of Students For The EU
Catherine Bearder , MEP
- Geraint Davies , MP for Swansea West
- Dr Hazel Dave , Oxfordshire Green party
- Michael Romberg , Campaign For The Real Referendum

(More to be confirmed)

woman12345 Thu 26-Jan-17 16:12:42

Letter back from erstwhile Tory remainer MP:
6He has contacted the Department for Exiting the European Union with my concerns and will contact me when he gets a reply^.
Seems typically ball -free English collusion type answer.
Either he as the stones to say why they are triggering it or not.
Accidentally sent email to UKIP MEP persuading it to join the remain campaign grin, using that service in last thread, as well!! Got lengthy diatribe in return, was going to correct the English and send it back but thought better of it. grin
thanks red

RedToothBrush Thu 26-Jan-17 16:18:44

AndrewSparrow ‏@AndrewSparrow
Labour MP says his party can't block article 50 because, if it did, May'd call election and they'd lose more seats

unicornsIlovethem Thu 26-Jan-17 16:20:38

Thanks Red. The leadership challenge is interesting. I was (slightly) hoping for a labour disaster in the county council elections so that momentum might be persuaded to bin JC who could then be replaced by John Smith reincarnated and win in 2020...

lalalonglegs Thu 26-Jan-17 16:21:01

Go on, send it back, woman wink.

After last year's horrific leadership warfare, the only hope with the Labour leadership crisis is that Corbyn realises he really isn't up to the job and steps aside (this is a very faint hope but we are constantly being told what an "honourable" man he is hmm. My fear is that even if he did stand down of his own accord, McDonnell or Abbott would get their name on the ballot paper and all the nutters would vote for them instead. It is truly a disaster.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 26-Jan-17 16:24:01

I was rating "Worst Ever Leader" as the one who most damaged their party, not the country.
Corbyn can only damage the country by omission, i.e. a big Labour-shaped hole where the Official Opposition should be

May is doing very well for the Tories:
Looks like whatever pain Brexit brings will be blamed on the EU, not the Tories.
Unless Labour stop being so useless and stand on some principles < unlikely >

I presume May's previous reference to the Tories being seen as the Nasty Party was a declaration of intent, not a criticism

MirabelleTree Thu 26-Jan-17 16:31:49

Thank you Red

BigChoc that is helpful to know about the languages. I was able to do 3 sciences with French and German in the 80's but I have the feeling there was a slight issue with it. DS has dyslexia and it was his reaction to learning French that was the thing that made me get him tested. Don't know how he would get on with German if it was on offer but I hope as it is logical that he might find it easier than French if he ever gets to learn it.

He's come home from school today having attended a Holocaust Memorial at another school, asking about my Grandparent's role in the war so we've just had the photo albums out looking at some photos of my Opa in the military. I've been explaining how they weren't so different to my British Grandparents and how my Mum remembers how devestated my Oma was when the news about the concentration camps filtered through. He understands that Opa went to fight as he was scared that his wife and children would have been in danger had he refused.

DD never really thought about it too much I think despite having all the info (I interviewed both my parents and typed it up). DS is a much deeper thinker at 13 and it sounds like it was quite emotional for him as they had a talk from a Polish Jew who had been in a concentration camp. I feel quite emotional talking to him about it today with Brexit on the horizon and Trump as the POTUS.

woman12345 Thu 26-Jan-17 16:35:14

Got talking with nice lady at local Tesco's checkout, on Trump. She told me their union is USDAW and introduced me to the shop steward on next till.

I'm going to send any emails and leaflets on Remain campaign to the branch.

If food prices go the way we think, Tesco's and all its lovely workers are going to be on the front line in many ways.

There's no doubt that the Women's Marches unsettled them, well maybe not TM, but think actions should be on all fronts, including local unions, as well as writing to MPs. That's what they're doing in the US.

tiggytape Thu 26-Jan-17 16:35:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 26-Jan-17 16:36:23

Labour is rolling over for the Tories like a lovesick poodle wanting its tummy rubbed.
Their only aim is to avoid a GE.
Sod all use as an Official Opposition (which is supposed to oppose)
So, are we relying on the SNP for any organised opposition ?

btw, I've noticed online, including on MN, how cosy some in Labour Leave are to the far right - excusing Trump, May, even Le Pen because it's all the fault of the treacherous "elite"

red's scrapbook link about them siding with UKIP shows this alliamce is blatant
They are just a far right front, with the Labour name as a stocking mask before they mug the voters.

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