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May seems to think she can go on and on. But she’s running out of road | Gaby Hinsliff | Opinion | The Guardian
But if her premiership has been sorely lacking in imagination at times, by taking the referendum result so literally she has at least provided a moment of dreadful clarity about the consequences. Tory Brexiters demanded the impossible. Well, now they have it; a deal impossible to get through parliament, impossible to sell to leave voters so cynically led to expect something better. If nothing else, history will surely remember her more kindly than either the architects of leave or her predecessor, David Cameron, whose catastrophic error of judgment landed us in this mess. They broke it, but she owned it, which explains the odd note of pity that creeps in when her name crops up in conversations beyond Westminster. It may now be for someone else to glue the pieces back together.
UK  politics  Brexit  MayTheresa  ToryParty  withdrawalAgreement  leadership  doggedness  referendum  PeoplesVote 
yesterday by petej
Decline and Fall: What Next for May’s Deal? | Novara Media
The third option is a general election. Without the fixed-term Act passed to shore up the Cameron-Clegg coalition, such an election would already be underway; it is the natural remedy for political impasse. An election allows not only a conversation about Brexit in narrow technical terms, but to put to the country the profoundly differing visions of the future which now exist between the two major parties, including a throughgoing rejection of Conservative economics, a rebalancing of the country’s disgorged financial sector, and an end to the punitive austerity of the past Tory administrations. Such an election would be difficult for Labour: it would require the party to clarify its Brexit plans beyond the six tests, in explicit propositional terms, and require a future Labour government to push for renegotiation under an extended Article 50, in order to rectify the mess and incompetence of the Tory negotiating team. This seems the best strategy for the left in Labour: it will require those active in the party to demand their MPs refuse Tory fear-mongering and the siren call of Soubry’s national government.

As we enter what looks like the endgame of May’s ministry, the sights of the left ought to be focused on the possibility of a transformational, socialist government. Behind the political churn, deep questions lurk: what sovereignty looks like in a globalised world, how to rectify the decades of wreckage inflicted by successive governments on this country and its working class, how to adequately tackle the planetary death spiral capitalism has locked us into. Only the left can answer those questions – and it now must.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  MayTheresa  ToryParty  politics  DUP  customsUnion  NorthernIreland  Scotland  SNP  LabourParty  stateAid  Parliament  leadership  1922Committee  BarnierMichel  GNU  SoubryAnna  referendum  generalElection  TheLeft  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
2 days ago by petej
one out all out: a brexit from the modern world and every one of its problems please (we're all gonna die lol)
This is a total shitshow that could never have been delivered (and, assuming the vote fails, still won't).

May's words yesterday were exactly what they seemed and directed at the people they seemed to be:

Brexiteers - it's this or no brexit. William Hague made a similar point on Today yesterday, that they should realise it's probably their one chance to get brexit because if it gets kicked into the long grass here it will always be too difficult to do again and people will point at the past two years as good reasons why it's impossible.

Remainers - it's this or no deal. Vote it down and there's a good chance the euro-sceptics will sieze control of the Tory party, and if you can't force a GE and get the EU to put the process on the back burner then we'll crash out unless we rely on EU largesse.

It's not inconsistent to see them both as possibilities. The danger is if either side sees the statement as hardening their own faith that they are the true way.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  Leave  Remain  compromise  politics  MayTheresa 
2 days ago by petej
National Populism review – compassion for supporters of Trump, Brexit, Le Pen | Books | The Guardian
Eatwell and Goodwin treat these aspects as a diversion from the deeper question of what their supporters are seeking, which they paint in sepia: “To reassert cherished and rooted national identities over rootless and diffuse transnational ones; to reassert the importance of stability and conformity over the never-ending and disruptive instability that flows from globalisation and rapid ethnic change; and to reassert the will of the people over those of elitist liberal democrats who appear increasingly detached from the life experiences and outlooks of the average citizen.” It is the pursuit of these goals that characterises the movement or ideology of national populism.

This is a canny and deceptive intellectual move. It would be strange to define socialism in terms of the hopes and fears of trade unionists, or liberalism in terms of the worldview of a free rights-holding individual. And yet national populism is only really distinguished from nationalism and racism by the fact that its supporters do not see themselves in these terms. Inversely, Eatwell and Goodwin’s insistence that Le Pen or Wilders are not racist politicians rests on the PR efforts these figures have made to detoxify their images as racists in the eyes of the public and media.
UK  politics  nationalPopulism  nationalism  populism  racism  GoodwinMatthew  EatwellRoger  GoodhartDavid  culture  demographics  change  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
2 days ago by petej
How Brexit Broke Up Britain | by Fintan O’Toole | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
Another word for “control” is “regulation.” The fundamental appeal of Brexit is that the British have had too much regulation imposed from Brussels and desire in the future to regulate themselves. Thus the British will control their own environmental safeguards, their own food safety, their own labor standards, their own laws on competition and monopolies. The EU does indeed do many of these things and there is a perfectly coherent argument to be made that the British state should do them instead. It is a safe bet that this is what most people who voted for Brexit want and expect.

But that’s not actually what Brexit is about. The real agenda of the Hard Brexiteers is not, in this sense, about taking back control; it is about letting go of control. For people like Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, the dream is not of a change in which regulation happens, but of a completion of the deregulating neoliberal project set in motion by Margaret Thatcher in 1979. The Brexit fantasy is of an “open” and “global” Britain, unshackled from EU regulation, that can lower its environmental, health, and labor standards and unleash a new golden age of buccaneering hyper-capitalism. Again, this is a perfectly coherent (if repellent) agenda. But it is not what most of those who voted for Brexit think it is supposed to be. And this gap makes it impossible to say what “the British” want—they want contradictory things.

The second question is who is supposed to be taking control: Who, in other words, are “the people” to whom power is supposedly being returned? Here we find the other thing that dare not speak its name: English nationalism. Brexit is in part a response to a development that has been underway since the turn of the century. In reaction to the Belfast Agreement of 1998 that created a new political space in Northern Ireland and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 that did the same for another part of the UK, there has been a rapid change in the way English people see their national identity. Increasingly, they are not British, but English. This resurgent identity has not been explicitly articulated by any mainstream party and surveys have shown a growing sense of English alienation from the center of London government in Westminster and Whitehall. Brexit, which is overwhelming an English phenomenon, is in part an expression of this frustration. In Anthony Barnett’s blunt and pithy phrase from his 2017 book The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit and America’s Trump, “Unable to exit Britain, the English did the next-best thing and told the EU to fuck off.”

There is stark and overwhelming evidence that the English people who voted for Brexit do not, on the whole, care about the United Kingdom and in particular do not care about that part of it called Northern Ireland. When asked in the recent “Future of England” survey whether “the unravelling of the peace process in Northern Ireland” is a “price worth paying” for Brexit that allows them to “take back control,” fully 83 percent of Leave voters and 73 percent of Conservative voters in England agree that it is. This is not, surely, mere mindless cruelty; it expresses a deep belief that Northern Ireland is not “us,” that what happens “over there” is not “our” responsibility. Equally, in the Channel 4 survey, asked how they would feel if “Brexit leads to Northern Ireland leaving the United Kingdom and joining the Republic of Ireland,” 61 percent of Leave voters said they would be “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned.”
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  customsUnion  MayTheresa  ToryParty  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  opposition  ThornberryEmily  StarmerKeir  referendum  regulation  deregulation  control  neoliberalism  hardBrexit  England  nationalism  NorthernIreland  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan 
2 days ago by petej
Eurointelligence - Public: Now what?
We remain reluctant to assign numerical probabilities to outcomes, but make the following observations. The chances of parliament approving a deal are not zero. It will become progressively harder for so-called pro-Europeans to reject a deal that is endorsed by the EU itself. Moreover, the EU will pour cold water on any second referendum fantasies. We would not rule out that the EU’s own position will leave at least some of the Remainers conflicted, as well as Tory eurosceptics whose political careers would be jeopardised by early elections. The voting behaviour of MPs could thus very well depend on the opinion polls nearer the time of a vote.

Our second observation is that the UK parliament might vote twice on the deal - a rejection at first, followed by an election, followed by a renewed vote. This could all happen within the current Brexit timetable. If there is a special Brexit summit at the end of November, parliament could hold a first vote on ratification before Christmas. Elections could take place in February. The EU will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement, but there may be scope for rewording the political declaration. If the Tories win, the same agreement will be presented to the new parliament - in this case as a straight deal versus no-deal choice. If Labour wins, we presume that Corbyn would press ahead with a reworded political declaration that foresees the UK remaining in the customs union and single market for good. The withdrawal agreement itself is not in conflict with Labour’s version of a Brexit, as it would leave open the possibility of a permanent customs union. We doubt strongly that Corbyn would want to call a referendum if he were to become prime minister. He would be in the enviable position to blame the mess on the Tories, cut a deal with the EU, and then move on.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  MayTheresa  Cabinet  politics  backstop  customsUnion  NorthernIreland  ERG  LabourParty 
3 days ago by petej
Theresa May's Brexit deal: everything you need to know | Politics | The Guardian
The solution involves concessions on both sides. On the EU side, the chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has accepted the idea of a whole-UK customs union with the EU, satisfying the UK’s demands that its territorial integrity must be preserved.

But in return, Britain must agree that it will not be allowed to exit the backstop unless and until the EU agrees there is no prospect of a return to a hard border. In addition, it will have to accept special “deeper” customs arrangements for Northern Ireland, and the EU’s so-called “level playing-field” conditions for the whole of the UK.

These address member states’ concerns that de facto customs union membership without the obligations of the single market could give the UK an unfair advantage, so will require Britain to observe EU rules on, for example, state aid, competition, the environment, tax and labour market rules.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  Cabinet  borders  Ireland  NorthernIreland  backstop  transition  customsUnion  Parliament  politics 
3 days ago by petej
May calls emergency cabinet meeting to sign off Brexit deal | Politics | The Guardian
Key elements of the deal began to leak in the early evening. The UK was understood to have agreed that an independent arbitration committee will judge when a UK-wide customs backstop could be terminated, comprising an equa

l number of British and EU representatives plus an independent element.

There will be a review in July 2019, Brussels sources added, six months before the end of the transition period, at which it will be determined if the UK is ready to move to a free trade deal; transfer to the backstop; or extend the transition period, possibly by a year to 2021.
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  Cabinet  MayTheresa  ERG  Rees-MoggJacob  JohnsonBoris  business  politics  backstop  DUP  withdrawalAgreement 
4 days ago by petej
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