Talk

Advanced search

Webchat with three experts on Brexit and the EU: Friday 15 March at 10am

(107 Posts)
BojanaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 14-Mar-19 12:54:32

Hello

Following on from this week’s ongoing events in Parliament, we thought it would be interesting to have a webchat with our friends at The UK in a Changing Europe on Friday 15 March at 10am.

As some of you will know they’ve joined us a few times before - you can view their previous webchat in January here.

Here’s some information about the guests and their backgrounds:

Professor Jonathan Portes is senior fellow at The UK in a Changing Europe and Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy at King's College London. Previously, he was principal research fellow of the National Institute of Economic & Social Research. Before that he was chief economist at the Cabinet Office, and previous to that chief economist at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Professor Catherine Barnard is senior fellow at The UK in a Changing Europe; Professor in European Union Law and Employment Law at the University of Cambridge; and senior tutor and fellow of Trinity College. Catherine specialises in EU law and employment law.

Professor Barnard will only be able to join us for half an hour, as she is kindly stepping out from a four-hour meeting for this (!)

Professor Anand Menon is Director of The UK in a Changing Europe and Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London. He has held positions at Sciences Po, Columbia University and NYU. He has written on many aspects of contemporary Europe and is a frequent commentator on national and international media and you may have seen him on Question Time last week.

Please do join us on Friday to talk about what’s going on, what might happen next, and what’s going on (again). If you can’t make it, please post your question on this thread in advance. Please bear in mind the webchat guidelines one question each (follow-ups allowed if there’s time), and please be polite. Also following recent chats/guest posts we’ve updated our guidelines to let people know that, if one topic is overwhelmingly dominating a discussion with a guest, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. Rest assured we will ALWAYS let guests know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Thanks
MNHQ

BojanaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 15-Mar-19 11:16:23

We're going to close this webchat now - huge thanks to Anand, Catherine and Jonathan, and thanks also to everyone who joined the webchat with a question/comment. We hope you enjoyed it.

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 11:00:42

Thanks for your questions!

ProfAnandMenon Fri 15-Mar-19 10:59:50

Thanks everyone for your great questions. Really enjoyed it, as always.

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 10:59:26

I don't think anyone could accuse Jacob Rees-Mogg of being consistent! More broadly though, the registration of a hedge fund/asset management firm is a relatively minor technical detail - won't necessarily lead to jobs moving or taxes being lost.

DoctorTwo

Why, if Brexit is so great, has Rees Mogg moved his hedge fund HQ to Dublin? So unpatriotic.

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 10:56:21

It is a convention that Parliament doesn't vote on the same motion twice - but of course the motion next week will be slightly different if only in wording. I think it's pretty unlikely the Speaker would not allow the government to put its deal to the vote at least once more.

Motheroffourdragons

Thank you again.

A final one from me I think:-

Is it likely that Bercow will not allow May to bring MV 3 and 4 to the table? Isn't it true that unless a motion is significantly changed it cannot keep coming back to the house?

DoctorTwo Fri 15-Mar-19 10:53:58

Why, if Brexit is so great, has Rees Mogg moved his hedge fund HQ to Dublin? So unpatriotic.

Motheroffourdragons Fri 15-Mar-19 10:53:51

Thank you again.

A final one from me I think:-

Is it likely that Bercow will not allow May to bring MV 3 and 4 to the table? Isn't it true that unless a motion is significantly changed it cannot keep coming back to the house?

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 10:49:46

Think Anand has already answered, but on the second part of the question I don't think we should be too hard on ourselves! The public debate in Italy, say (on topics like economic reform and immigration) is at least as bad if not worse than in the UK. Nor should we pretend there was some "golden age" in the past when experts were listened to uncritically. Politics is messy. What we can try to do is hold our politicians to account and not let them get away with lying, manipulating or misrepresenting facts.

lonelyplanetmum

This is a question about the politicians and the public who (ignorantly) deny input from experts and expertise. Its a cheeky second question.

The explanations you have given on previous web chats have come to bear with precision and prescience. Thank you. You accurately explained on the last web-chat that the most likely outcome would be an extension and, of course, you have been proved right.

Do you think the fashion for denial of experienced expert knowledge is uniquely British and American phenomenon? Why has it happened? Will wider respect for knowledge and deeper understanding return within our lifetimes?

brizzlemint Fri 15-Mar-19 10:49:10

Thank you Professor Portes.

ProfAnandMenon Fri 15-Mar-19 10:47:21

More painful. The trade negotiations will be far tougher because everyone needs to come out of it feeling they have won something, and the member states will do us no favours. And of course we will be out by then so far less of a priority.

And Mars Bars. Apparently in the case of no deal we might run out in a fortnight.....

Anlaf

Ooh wonderful.

We're talking a lot about The Deal just now - but this isn't this just the Withdrawal Agreement to 2020 (or 2022)? Do you think negotiating the future relationship with the EU be as painful or even more painful than the shenanigans we've seen so far?

Any favourite biscuits we should lay in in case of No Deal grin

Anlaf Fri 15-Mar-19 10:45:41

Ooh wonderful.

We're talking a lot about The Deal just now - but this isn't this just the Withdrawal Agreement to 2020 (or 2022)? Do you think negotiating the future relationship with the EU be as painful or even more painful than the shenanigans we've seen so far?

Any favourite biscuits we should lay in in case of No Deal grin

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 10:44:46

Remember that legally the referendum was just advisory. So whatever law enforcement finds won't directly change the course of political events.

Littlespaces

Thanks for answering. My worry is that law enforcement is investigating but it will be too late to do anything if illegal activity is found.

Littlespaces Fri 15-Mar-19 10:43:32

Thanks for answering. My worry is that law enforcement is investigating but it will be too late to do anything if illegal activity is found.

ProfAnandMenon Fri 15-Mar-19 10:43:17

Great question. Brexit has had a fascinating impact on Scotland. On the one hand, for those convinced about the case for independence, Brexit has confirmed everything they ever thought about the English! They see the case for separation now as overwhelming. On the other hand, Brexit makes Scottish independence more difficult practically. If Scotland became independence and both Scotland and England were not in the Customs Union and Single Market, you might need checks on the Scotland-England border. Most of Scotland's trade is with England, so that could be costly. So the brief answer is it cuts both ways. And, finally, the polls still seem to be stuck at about 55-45 against.

Motheroffourdragons

Thank you for answering my question.

Another if you don't mind.

How likely is it now that Scotland will have a second independence referendum as a result of all this?

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 10:41:29

Because she thinks - to some extent correctly - that hardline Brexiteers will come to realise that if they continue to vote down her deal then an extension is more likely than No Deal. But this is a very risky - arguably irresponsible - strategy, and is not good for the reputation of the UK/government/Parliament.

brizzlemint

Thank you for joining us.
Why do you think the PM is repeatedly asking for these votes from MPs when nothing has changed?

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 10:38:44

This would clearly not be acceptable to hardline Brexiteers - they think May's deal is too soft. Nor to hardline Remainers. And it has significant disadvantaged - we'd have to accept lots of EU rules with little or no say. I think we have to accept that there are no perfect - or even good -options, and nothing can make all sides happy. The advantage of this option is that it respects the result, minimise the economic damage and is the nearest thing to a possible compromise/consensus.

twofingerstoEverything

^or a soft Brexit that includes customs union and single market membership - including some form of freedom of movement.^
Prof Portes' post above refers...
To me this seems like a very sensible compromise, but do you think this would ever be acceptable to hardline Brexiteers, and, if not acceptable to them, do you think that matters, ie. at this stage, should a compromise be the country's priority, rather than pandering to hardliners?

ProfAnandMenon Fri 15-Mar-19 10:36:56

Well, because that is up to the law enforcement authorities in the first instance, and I have not yet seen convincing evidence presented. We certainly need to think in terms of beefing up our laws when it comes to online campaigning and how to ensure referenda are fairly contested.

Littlespaces

Wondered if you had seen this question as two or three posters have asked about it.

Why has the criminal manipulation and dark money used to fund and influence the first referendum not been at the forefront of the argument?

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 10:36:33

If Parliament had voted for the Cooper/Boles amendment yesterday for a series of indicative votes that might at least have shown whether there was a specific realistic option that could command a majority. It could still do that next week.

Weetabixandshreddies

Thank you for answering.

A quick second question - what needs to be done/ can be done to break the stalemate?

twofingerstoEverything Fri 15-Mar-19 10:36:14

or a soft Brexit that includes customs union and single market membership - including some form of freedom of movement.
Prof Portes' post above refers...
To me this seems like a very sensible compromise, but do you think this would ever be acceptable to hardline Brexiteers, and, if not acceptable to them, do you think that matters, ie. at this stage, should a compromise be the country's priority, rather than pandering to hardliners?

Littlespaces Fri 15-Mar-19 10:35:23

Wondered if you had seen this question as two or three posters have asked about it.

Why has the criminal manipulation and dark money used to fund and influence the first referendum not been at the forefront of the argument?

ProfAnandMenon Fri 15-Mar-19 10:34:59

I am worried about us having the election, yes. I think EP elections are a way for fringe parties to gain both money and profile - it's exactly how the National Front came to prominence in France in the 1980s. And of course this shapes the calculations of MPs - there are a lot of incumbents in the North in particular who worry that, if Farage's new party gets oxygen via EP elections, they can win enough votes in domestic elections maybe not to win seats but to have an impact on who does win them

Songsofexperience

**@ProfJonathanPortes**, @ProfAnandMenon

Thank you both for answering my question!

Just a quick one: are you worried about UK MEPs joining a populist alliance should there be a long extension and is that threat enough to make the EU refuse such a long extension?

ProfJonathanPortes Fri 15-Mar-19 10:34:39

Electoral law in the UK clearly needs to be modernised/updated radically to take account of social media/direct targeting of voters etc. But legally none of this matters much in this context because technically the referendum was only "advisory". It's a political, not a legal, judgement as to whether events around the referendum "invalidate" the result, and so far politicians have been very reluctant to suggest that is the case.

jasjas1973

As a political commentator said yesterday "the most crazy thing is that 15 years ago, no one gave a stuff about the EU" so at the time of the GFA, it was an irrelevance but surely protecting peace in NI is more important?

I also would like to ask why the fraud/over spending and foreign influence isn't a bigger issue? or is electoral law in the UK unfit for the 21st century?

ProfCatherineBarnard Fri 15-Mar-19 10:34:04

HazardGhost

If I post a question now it'll probably be out of date by morning.

Thanks for joining us again smile

and thanks for having me!

ProfCatherineBarnard Fri 15-Mar-19 10:32:59

GirlsBlouse17

Do you think that it is ironic that the most reluctant member of the EU is less able to cut ties with the EU than the likes of France and Germany (if ever they wanted to!)

Did anyone realise at the time of the Good Friday Agreement that it would tie us to the EU for always?

What is striking is just how little attention was piad to the NI issue in the run up to the referendum and it is not clear to me that when the PM announced her red lines at the Tory party conference in October 2016 she was aware either of the implications of those for the situaiton in NI. People are no far more educated on the issue.

ProfAnandMenon Fri 15-Mar-19 10:32:03

HazardGhost

If I post a question now it'll probably be out of date by morning.

Thanks for joining us again smile

Think how we feel about our answers!!

This thread is not accepting new messages.