UK in/out referendum on the EU (Brexit vs Bremain)

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:56 pm

{{ You know our Parliament are very like Pratchetts wizards of Unseeen University, present them with a major dilemna and they almost immediatly fall into squabbling among themselves over things, at best, only tangentially related to the actual problem.

So we have Parliament recalled and what have they done with the time? Shouted at each other and got into a big squable about appropriate language in the Chamber for two days.

Meanwhile Boris is simply being bullish and lapping this up. And I cant blame him, at this point I don't see how he loses.

As it stands the likely outcomes as I see them are-

1. Boris gets a deal on the 19th and challenges the others to vote for it. With two posible outcomes. We leave on that deal or they refuse it. Go to step 2 if they refuse.

2. Boris fails to get a deal or the Commons fails to pass it and he is forced into making an extension to Article 50 as required by law till Jan 2020. There is then a general election. Go to step 3.

3. Whatever happens there is a general election coming. On Brexit a combination of Tory, Brexit party and DUP votes, plus rogue leave area Labour MP's will give Boris a Brexit majorty post an election, even if its a hung parliament-  Corbyn is unelectable and post losing an election, especially if he loses badly Labour will be in internal chaos and fighting, they already are pre-election, and Boris will still be in the best position to form a govermment.

4. If post election he hasnt got a deal- then come end of extension in Jan 2020 he will claim a mandate to leave on any terms, including no deal. And have the votes to force it through the Commons.

With the state of Labour under Corbyn I dont see what there is stop Boris in the long term.

And if you dig around under all the sound and fury of the last few days you find little snippes like this-

'The UK government is planning to put out "concrete proposals" for reaching a Brexit deal with the EU within the next few weeks...Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said the "moment of truth" was approaching..."We are committed to securing a deal. The prime minister has made clear he wants a deal, but there has to be political will on both sides and that's what we are exploring."

Boris's Plan A I believe- cause utter chaos and return triumphant with the clock ticking to doomsday with a deal- is very much still in play. I suspect thats why he and Cummings seem so pleased with whats going on right now and rather than calm it down seem to be deliberetly stoking it, as Cumming did in reposnse to being asked about increased threats of violence towards MP's being stoked by Boris's language, especially in light of the murder of Jo Cox-

"If you are a bunch of politicians and say that we swear we are going to respect the result of a democratic vote, and then after you lose you say, 'We don't want to respect that vote', what do you expect to happen?"

I wouldn't even put it past Boris do some more outrageous things with Parliamentary precendent, just to keep the circus going. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:23 am

Johnson is acting like an internet troll, that's his strategy.

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Post by Eldy on Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:25 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:'The UK Supreme Court has only existed since 2009 and it doesn't even have the authority to strike down Acts of Parliament. This is, for better or worse, not a political system with a strong tradition of judicial review--at least until now.'- Eldy

Thats sort of right Eldy, the last part not so much. There is in fact a very long tradition of judicial review, just had a different name.

...

So whilst the Supreme Court is new, its not actually a new thing at all, its just the latest bit of tinkering in a 600 year line of tinkering to slowly make a fully independent judiciary able to review even government.

Britain is certainly no stranger to an independent judiciary, and the institution of common law means in some respects it has traditionally had more powerful courts than are found in many other countries.* However, the power of judicial review, which refers specifically to the ability to strike down laws as illegitimate (usually meaning unconstitutional), is a much less well-established part of that tradition. The UKSC has the power to strike down secondary legislation--meaning laws not passed by parliament, mostly regulations issued by government ministries--but (more or less) does not have the power to strike down primary legislation, which is to say actual Acts of Parliament.

I include a qualifier in that statement because the situation became somewhat muddied after the passage of the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. The HRA established a system whereby certain British courts can issue a "declaration of incompatibility" between an Act of Parliament and the ECHR, but such Acts remain valid until Parliament repeals or changes them. Before reaching this stage, courts are required to interpret legislation in a manner consistent with the ECHR, even when this means taking greater interpretative liberties than would typically be considered appropriate, and only issue a declaration of incompatibility if no such interpretation is possible.

This form of judicial review is thus much more circumscribed than, for example, the powers wielded by the US Supreme Court. Part of what makes the current ruling so interesting is that it is more reminiscent of how judicial review functions in political systems with a written constitution that takes precedence over parliamentary sovereignty. Though part of the reason we are in this situation is that another recent change to long-established constitutional tradition--the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011--has played a role in stymying Johnson's desire to hold an early election.** Normally, one wouldn't expect a gulf between the executive and parliament as a whole to last so long under the Westminster system. So it's not that the UKSC has decided to hell with parliamentary sovereignty, but that the exercise of parliamentary sovereignty is taking a very weird form right now, as you discussed in another post on the previous page.

You are of course correct that the UKSC is a continuation of an older institution in the form of the Law Lords. I could (and probably should) have been less glib on that front.


*Yes, I know I'm glossing over the distinctions between English and Scots law right now.
**The breakdown in trust between the executive and parliament, arising in large part from Johnson's and May's attempts to shut the Commons out of the Brexit process, is probably a more significant factor. The schism within the Conservatives and the emergence of the European Research Group as a "party within a party" is unusual but not unprecedented (among other examples, the Liberals tore themselves apart over both Irish home rule and the 1930s National Government), but Johnson and May have both demonstrated a marked inability to find allies.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:57 am

{{ I think the main difference when it comes to Acts of Parliament is, essentially, not getting your head choped off.
The originator of it all- the 13th century Court within the King's Court had primary roles in reviewing law, seeing what their impact was and if they needed reform or alteration as a result.
What they couldn't do however was tell the King he was wrong and you were going to get rid of his law whether he liked it or not, because of the aforementioned head losing problem.
So instead the courts built a system over the centuries whereby you suggested, make recomendations for change, suggest the law be reviewed etc everything short of 'get rid of it'.

Fast foward to the present day and the idea the House is supreme is now the King and you dont lose your head so often.
The courts when reviewing Acts of Parliamnet still do the same thing however but if a top court suggetss to a government that a law may be in need of review, or was having unexpected or adverse impacts, or some such lawyer speech it's taken as read by government to mean 'change it or lose it'.
But the Courts have no ulimate authority here to change laws passed by the democractically elected chamber- judges are appointesss and therefore cannot be representive of the people, same of the Lords.

In the recent case with Boris it was of course neither a criminal court nor dealing with an Act of Parliament so much as the use of Parlaimentary conventions within their intended usage, and if Boris fell outside of intended usage. Its a ruling that reinforces the century old belief that the Commons is the Supreme body- but the law can and does review and suggest back and the convention of a wise govenrment has always been to listen when they do. It usually saves trouble further down the line.

The US Supreme Court as I mentioned is a bit of a weird one for us Brits, as it stands against what we believe here- which is an independent Judiciary free from politicla bias or pressure or appointees. In the US you seem to take pride in having a non-independent judiciary that is politicially biased and to which your President can cherry-pick judges for. Which seems weird bedfellows with the ideas of Law and Justice being Blind.}}

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Post by halfwise on Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:55 pm

The reason for the president picking judges (with the "advice and consent of the senate") is in fact to ensure that the judiciary is NOT completely free and independent.  The operating principle of the US constitution is that each branch of government have interlocking checks and balances placed upon it.

Though in this case I think it rather causes more harm than good since the supreme court serves for life (in order to foster independence from the waves of partisanship, but instead seems to bake it in).  It would be better if instead the courts were selected by some other means but have a sort of judicial review that can be over-ridden by something like 3/4 vote of the congress.

But how does the UK select judges without some sort of partisanship?  I don't understand how any system can avoid that.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:31 pm

{{ UM, its sort of complicated, but not really.

We have these things called 'Non-deparmental public bodies'.
Technically they are aligned towards a paticular ministerial post, in this case justice so the Home Office, and that Minister is ulitmately responsible for them.
But they have no actual control over their day to day running and no input in it beyond if there is an issue that would arise to being  a ministerial matter (ie the body felt some parliamentary level action was needed such as amending a law or something major like that). The whole point of them is that they ar elargely autonomous from government.

In the case of judges (this is mainly England and Wales for this example, though there is cross-over with Scotland in some areas) its the Judicial Appointments Committee who oversee judge selection-

'Under the Constitutional Reform Act Parliament gave the JAC the following statutory duties:

   to select candidates solely on merit;
   to select only people of good character; and
   to have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for judicial selection.

Technically by tradition all Judges are appointed by the Queen via the High Lord Chancellor. However there is also an Act known as 'good behaviour' which essentially protects a judges tenure from an irrate monarch revoking their judginess on a whim. And helps ensure further indpendence not just from politics, but from the Crown, whilst still being the monarchs judges.
To remove a judge requires the Monarch to gain an Address from both Houses to do so- in other words it would be very unlikely, and if it did happen the Judge would have to have done something henious.


Scotlands system is actually less indpendent than in England I would say.
Here a candidate to be a judge is first nominated by the Sherrifs Principal, who will pick from a list of candidates from among exisitng Sherriffs who are interested. These recommendations then go to the Judical Appointments board which acts very much like its English equivelent and even has an almost identical remit-

The Board's responsibilities under the Act are that:

a) selection of an individual to be recommended for appointment must be solely on merit;

b) the Board may select an individual only if it is satisfied that the individual is of good character; and

c) in carrying out its functions, the Board must have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of individuals available for selection to be recommended for appointment to a judicial office. This is subject to the provisions a) and b) above.

Once the board have their reccomendation they send it to the First Minister for approval and then it goes for the final rubber stamp to the Monarch.

The Supreme Court appointments are handled differently again. Its a mix of both versions really.
First recommendation are made to a board made up of members of all the judicary boards from Scotland, England andNI (Wales is covered by England on this one) and they have to by law consult with all the top judges and legal minds in all parts of the UK, make the selection as a recommendation which then goes to the First Ministers of Scotland and NI for approval and finally to the PM for approval and then to the Queen.
Whilst tehnically a FM or PM or even the Queen could refuse to appoint a recomendation but under the law they would have to prove that the judge failed to meet one of the criteria, such as merit, or good character, to do so. They can't just say no without giving a very good provable reason for it.

Or in very short version our judges are selected by their peers following guidlines laid down by our Parliament designed to make seletion as impartial and neutral as possible and, in one of those rare bits if insight, largely out the hands of politicians to meddle with- their role is more symbolic rubber stamp than a real active part of the process. }}}

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Post by David H on Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:29 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{Or in very short version our judges are selected by their peers following guidlines laid down by our Parliament designed to make seletion as impartial and neutral as possible and, in one of those rare bits if insight, largely out the hands of politicians to meddle with- their role is more symbolic rubber stamp than a real active part of the process. }}}

That's more or less what Senate confirmation of Supreme Court justices used to be until 2017 when they refused to consider Merrick Garland. That act of incivility was one of the first cracks in the dam that brought us to where we are now. From the tone of the current debates over there it looks like you folks are exploring the same slippery slopes of incivility... pale

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Post by halfwise on Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:57 pm

Not just civility, the meaning of truth.

An interesting point about how people's response to polls has changed over the years, from quack_inc4 on StackExchange. It relates to presidential polling in the US, but is good for understanding any political analysis these days:

"People’s understanding of polls is relatively sophisticated; they know the poll will be reported, and that reporting may very well matter for their agenda in the future, so they’ll say the thing on the poll which [they believe] maximizes their agenda.

For previous presidents, it was understood that the president was responsive to public opinion, and that the media was basically “just trying to learn about public opinion,” (whether or not that was true is another question). So, your “real opinion” maximized your agenda more than your steadfastness; that may simply no longer be true."

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:15 am

{{ OK I dont like to say I told you so, but I told you so. On two counts actually!

First Boris's Plan A- cause chaos return with a deal that's May's warmed up.
Today Boris is announcing just this very thing at conference.
And as predited its Mays deal warmed up, it betrays both the DUP and the ERG- but more on that in a moment, and he will probably get away with it where she failed.
So the detail-

'The government's final Brexit proposals will include customs checks on the island of Ireland...Johnson's plans will see Northern Ireland "in a different relationship with the EU to the rest of the UK"...the Northern Ireland Assembly would be given powers to shape its future with the bloc...he (Boris) conceded some customs checks would be needed as the UK leaves the EU's customs union and single market, he said technology could keep them to an "absolute minimum"... the plans were "based on the notion of consent", giving more powers to Northern Ireland's devolved Parliament - the Stormont Assembly - to shape its future relationship with the EU..The proposals also suggest a time period for when the relationship between Northern Ireland and the EU could move on.'

So there you have it, its even further than Mays plans she ruled out any checks in NI altogether. So will Boris get the DUP and ERG on his side for a plan worse than the one they already rejected?
All indications are the DUP will cave on this-

' sources from the DUP were supportive of the proposals and had been kept informed during their development...."DUP sources appear happy and content with the proposal because they say the backstop was anti-democratic; gave Northern Ireland no say," said our political editor. But under the Boris Johnson offer, the Northern Ireland Assembly could choose to stay with this EU regulation, or move towards [regulatory alignment with] Great Britain in 2025. And the way that voting would operate in the Northern Ireland Assembly is that unionists, if they didn't like the road that Northern Ireland was going down, would be able to veto that and move towards Great Britain."

However, the Irish government has consistently rejected previous proposals that have involved customs checks on the island of Ireland or a time-limited backstop.'- BBC

So if the DUP suddenly forget all their red line opposition to border checks in Ireland and to keeping Ireland effectively in the EU till 2025 then the ERG will follow suit and Boris will have all the enemies on his own side that tore May down either in his corner or ousted from the party already.

The second thing, let me take you way back to when Boris first became PM and I said that the biggest risk to Boris was Boris, as there were two of him, the public Boris and the reckless, sex obbssessed hedonistic private Boris, and the latter had a bad habit of rearing up to ruin the public Boris?

Well the last few days have been full of all sorts of Boris scandal stories - MeToo style claims that he felt up a journalists thigh, and more seriously that an American business woman he was having a relationship with when he was Mayor of London got a lot of tax payer funding for her company and overseas trips with Boris she should not have been on - and in a twist because as Mayor of London Boris was Head of the Metropolitan Police, and as this has been referred to the police as a criminal matter- Boris is now being investigated by the Police internal invetsigation unit. This is bubbling away underneath all the Brexit stuff and might yet go off in Boris's face and be the thing to do him real harm.
But on Brexit - I'd say right now, he is clearly winning and his plans, A and B are still both in play as needed.}}

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Post by David H on Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:18 pm

Petty wrote:...an American business woman...

Wonderful! Perfect fodder for the tabloids!!! cheers :carrot: :carrot: Cheerleader
She's probably a spy, and deep state operative like Maria Butina. These foreign women spies like the new 007 all have cover stories like that. Nod
This could go on and on!
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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:20 pm

I listened to Johnsons end of conference rant, and it sounded more like a 2nd rate after dinner speech. it was embarrassing and he didn't sound like a statesman.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:00 pm

He just prorogued again, its like a sick joke. Suspect

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Post by halfwise on Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:16 pm

that's pretty shameless.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:05 am

{{{ Not surprising, or unexpected. I said at the time of the Court ruling that there was nothing in it to stop him doing it again. So long as it was only for a few days he'd probably get away with it.
The main piece of evidence they hung the decision on last time was the lack of any reasonable explanation for why it needed to be for 5 weeks- if he does it for 2-4 days then fighting in the courts to stop it would take longer than him doing it. By the time the court decided, even if it found against him again, it would already have happened.
So I don't see anything to stop him this time or a challenge in the courts to either.

In other news- the DUP have confirmed their utter capitulation to the Boris deal-

'DUP leader Arlene Foster said it was a serious and sensible way forward which "allows the people of Northern Ireland a role which they didn't have".

So with the DUP onside the ERG can easily stay onside now, despite this being Mays deal with added border checks in NI and down the Irish sea! - two previous DUP red lines.

But assuming the EU can be made to agree to Boris's proposals, which given they are not a huge distance removed from May's which they did agree to has to be a possibility, then Boris has removed most of the main obstacles that faced May getting her deal passed- ERG and DUP resistance.
Boris's new difficulty is unlike May's slender lead of 1 he has no majority to pass it and will need Labour leave Mp's to support it as well as the former members of his own party he ousted.

However this also explains his keenness for a general election which he is pretty confident he can not only win but come out of with a working majority.
Given the state of the opposition parties right now you can't blame him for that confidence. }}

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Post by David H on Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:53 pm

It's hard to look or listen to Boris and imagine that he's competent, but I'm beginning to see what you mean..... Shocked Suspect pale

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Post by halfwise on Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:22 pm

It's far more calculating than Trump's competence, which consists of an ability to read America's seamy underbelly that most try to distance themselves from.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:51 pm

I have a horrible feeling that he will not only do the deal but will be 'the guy who won brexit' and as a result will win a landslide general election..and after everything that would be a bitter pill to swallow.

That's in my nightmares, so I have just started the application process to become an Italian citizen. It is expensive and takes 4 years, but its worth it to remain in the EU. With any luck Scotland will soon rebel and leave the brexiteers to their unicorns.

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Post by halfwise on Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:56 pm

Does either Italy or Britain allow dual citizenship?

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:55 pm

yep they do which is a bonus. The poor expats who live in Spain have to renounce their British passports. No

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:30 am

I have a horrible feeling that he will not only do the deal but will be 'the guy who won brexit' and as a result will win a landslide general election- Figg

{{ The genius of what Boris has done is he has put himself in the position where he can always have a winning hand to play.

Scenario 1- he gets a deal- and then wins a general election off the back of having done it. Win.
Scenario 2- the House reject his deal after EU agree- he blames opposition and gets an election, positions himself as on the side of the people v parliament and v Corbyn will win. Win.
Scenario 3- Parliament pass his deal but EU reject it- blames Europe for being inflexible and trying to trap the UK in the EU- gets election and again will win it. Win.
Scenario 4- Fails to get a deal and is forced to extend Article 50 to Jan 2020. Blames EU and House, gets election and wins. Win.

And what I don't see is how the opposition parties, from the positions they have put themselves into, can get to a winning hand to counter him. They've been outplayed. Which is worrying because I reckon once Boris gets out of the EU the next logical, and necessary step for a UK on its own, is to strengthen the Union through propaganda and stamp down on dissidence and how much powers the devolved Parliaments have.
There already signs this plan is in the offing with Boris recently saying Sturgeon should not be allowed to attend the global climate conference in Glasgow and that instead of saltires flying there should be union jacks and UK branding.

Sturgeon has had it easy up til now in terms of the cunning of her political opponents. Boris is something quite different as I think his approach to getting Brexit has shown. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:10 pm

yep the Opposition have been out-maneuvered, they should have done a no confidence thingie quickly before he did this scam deal. Its too late now.

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Post by chris63 on Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:30 pm


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Post by halfwise on Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:57 pm

Nicely nuanced. I kept wondering if it was going to turn into a parody or not.

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Post by azriel on Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:58 am

Yep, played beautifully, liked the way the flag slowly lost colours as the song moved along.

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UK in/out referendum on the EU (Brexit vs Bremain) - Page 34 Th_cat%20blink_zpsesmrb2cl

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Post by halfwise on Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:36 pm

Wow, I didn't even notice that!

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