Brexit, aka, the UK Becomes a Clown Car of the Highest Order


The Challenge is agreeing a deal, once a deal is agreed a 3 month extension will pass easily. The fear of an extension is that it is a bridge to no Brexit.

Even if one of the EU27 blocks the extension as long as the U.K. ratified the deal they will just ignore the missing legislation as arrange,ents get made.

However at the moment parliament has a bare majority for a deal that is way outside what the EU will accept, so getting to a deal by end of Feb looks impossible.



I don’t even think a deal needs to be arranged for an extension, if we ask for it. Europe isn’t going to want chaos and recrimination on its northern border if it can be averted by a few months wiggle room.

If it starts interfering with EU elections, well, that might be harder (but not insurmountable either).

But we need an executive willing to ask for an extension. Maybe she can do it and blame Labour.



I’d be surprised if there was an extension at this stage. I think the strategy is to run down the clock and force a vote between Mays deal, no deal and no Brexit. If May can get a little sugar to sprinkle on top from the EU then her deal will probably pass.



Yeah, but what evidence will they have that it can be, given that the UK’s MO is basically, “We don’t like the backstop but we have no practical suggestions on how to replace it”. Why would delaying a few months do any good when all that we’ve come up with since the deal was agreed is “alternative arrangements”. There’s also the issue that extension requires unanimous consent. All it takes is one country to say piss off and it’s done, absent a revocation.



But the EU knows this and wants the no Brexit option. So it will probably avoid giving any sugar and hope that saner heads win out if it becomes a choice between the other two options.

Personally I see it as likely that the EU will agree an extension if it’s to allow time for a referendum or general election. Something that has a fair chance of resulting in a substantive change in policy. Far less likely if it’s just to extend negotiations, given the lack of realistic progress.



That’s a big worry. Europe says “we don’t see how a few months would even help - so no”.

But if it gets to the point the PM is begging the EU to extend things, and is denied that, things are getting into government collapsing, recriminations and blame all-round territory.

What a mess.



I think we’re in government collapsing, recriminations and blame all-round territory no matter what happens.



We’re in a state of self induced paralysis. Everyone knows that no-deal will throw the country into chaos and upend the political status quo, ie, political suicide for the current regime when the populance realises their grocery bill has tripled… but at the same time, no one dares break ranks.

What we really need is a shake-up of the parties; the xenophobes in the Tories should join up with the racists in the Labour party; and then the Tory MP’s that actually care about the economy should join up with the majority of the Labour party who want to keep EU protections and work regulations. Right now we have two parties but four factions (and then the poor LibDems huddled somewhere out of sight).



I don’t think the EU will refuse an extension if there seems to be a viable path to a deal.

At the moment, though, the British government are living in some kind of lala-land alternative reality, so who knows what’s going to happen? I mean, the resolution they voted on is not just unrealistic, it’s completely meaningless - We don’t like “X”, so we are voting for “not X”. It’s just absurd - if you want to negotiate an alternative, at least come with a concrete, specific proposal.

Of course, the likelihood that the Tories would be able to get a majority around a specific proposal was probably non-existent (it’s always much easier to vote for something nebulous), so…

It seems like the UK’s politicians have completely abandoned their responsibilities to govern the country at this point - and honestly, that goes for both Tories and Labour.



I think the way of looking at the problem is this:

The pro-Brexit position on the Irish border runs the gamut from I don’t mind / don’t care about a hard border there to I want a hard border there. Given that, none of those people will abandon Brexit in order to avoid a hard border, because they care about Brexit a lot more than they care about the possibility of a hard border. So Brexit will happen regardless of what it means for Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The EU on the other hand cares more about the Irish border than they do about a soft landing for the UK. Since the UK will not offer any Brexit deal which preserves the current state of the border / prevents a hard border, then there is no UK-offered deal which the EU can accept. So that means no deal.

So: There will be a no-deal Brexit and a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.



And yet the government is still going and nothing bad (enough) has yet happened for serious recriminations and blame all-round. So we will stumble on for at least two more weeks in this fashion (the next ‘meaningful vote’) and I imagine some time after that.



Oh yes. I mean the government will collapse no later than fairly soon after Brexit day, with or without a deal.



Unless the DUP decide they hate the deal sufficiently to get rid of the government, I’m not sure I see why.

Any collapse I see happening now is because some Tory rebels have a fit of conscience and realise no-deal Brexit is de-facto government policy, and there is only one way to stop it.



Because the half of the population that is waiting happily for no-deal suddenly realizes it means they can’t buy groceries, and heads roll.



If May passes a backstoppy deal with Labour, the ERG and/or DUP dump her. If she doesn’t pass a deal and Article 50 is revoked, the ERG and maybe even DUP dump her. If she doesn’t pass a deal and we crash out, then we’re going to have the mother of all economic and political crises that no government could survive.



Nobody will realise that until it happens.

Ah, right. I actually think extension/revocation won’t be enough to bring down the government, and I’m not even sure a backstop will mean she’s brought down after the fact. (Though maybe. The DUP might.)

One thing this whole show has taught me is that political parties hold together far more than I realised.



I think a lot of the reason that the ERG has been a paper tiger so far is that they think bringing down the government is (more) likely to stop Brexit. If Brexit is stopped anyway, then that’s not an issue any more. And if they don’t bring down the government at that point, they truly show themselves as a busted flush and they’ll never have any leverage ever again. Maybe they hate Corbyn enough to stomach that, but I don’t think so, at least for the hardcore.



I don’t think extension will bring down the government, BTW, though it’s possible.



But if we’ve left, it’s over. What’s their incentive to bring down the government other than revenge? They’ll lose their leverage entirely when they are unsupported by Tory party HQ in the following GE and lose their seats.



May will not still control Tory party HQ if she supports revocation or referendum.