Brexit, aka, the UK Shoots Itself


I have to admit Theresa May’s deal is growing on me. I hate the actual content of the deal, but both Brexiteer and FPBE twitter are campaigning vociferously against it, and anything that those two groups both despise has much to recommend it :).


I gotta admit the Brexiteer’s have the cooler tag out of the two.


It turns out a bad deal is better than no deal, after all.


Q: How many Brexiteers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: One to promise a brighter future and the rest to screw it up.


This basically sums up the craven politics of the whole thing:

These resignations confirm a fundamental structural problem with the whole leave prospectus: it was a fantasy, and as such incompatible with the mundane fulfilment of ministerial responsibility. Raab has come to the same conclusion that David Davisand Boris Johnson reached earlier in the year: it is easier to be on the team that accuses the prime minister of failing to deliver majestic herds of unicorns than it is to be stuck with a portfolio that requires expertise in unicorn-breeding.


Then there is this.

“Leave-voting MP Nadine Dorries slams May’s Brexit deal because UK won’t have seats in European parliament”


It is hard to fathom just how stupid these ignorant morons are. I mean, just… arrggg


I honestly thought that was an onion head line.


Dorries has been demonstrating how ignorant she is since long before Brexit was a thing.


I’ve read she meant in relation to having to follow EU law and regulations and not have MEP’s, which is not quite as bad…


How is it not as bad? It’s always been one of those idiotic pipedream fantasies of being able to leave the EU but keeping all the benefits.


I don’t see how this is a bad deal.

  1. Britain wants control over immigration. This means they must leave the EU and lose influence over its institutions, there is no way around it.

  2. Britain wants a relatively frictionless border with Ireland. This means a custom union, again there is no way around that. And because of (1) it inescapably follows that they will have no influence over their trade policy.

You don’t usually get everything you want from a negotiation. Given that the UK got both (1) and (2), what did May’s critics expect a deal to look like?


Well for me any deal that takes away my right of residency in the EU is a bad deal. Full stop.

Out of this negotiation there were always going to be two losers, The UK and the EU. Both have indeed lost badly but the EU probably has lost less. Not that it is any comfort to anyone.

Hopefully this madness can still be reversed. May’s “deal” getting voted down would be a good start to stopping Brexit entirely, which is the only outcome I am interested in.


I think a lot of folks expected “nothing would change, except with less dirty immigrants”.


Is "stopping Brexit entirely " on the table at all in the UK? Aren’t the options now this deal or hard Brexit? Seems like Tories want Brexit, Labour wants Brexit; the people who oppose Brexit seem to be profoundly politically powerless.


Well May did say recently that it’s her deal, no deal or no Brexit. First time I can recall that she’s allowed for the possibility of no Brexit. I think she was trying to scare the Brexiteers into line, but I think she’s given the Remainers some faint hope.

There are loads of obstacles in the way of no Brexit though. First up, assuming May survives that long, there’s the MPs’ vote on the deal. This looks like a horrible decision between the middle option and an unknown one of the extremes. Voting against this as a Remainer feels like a gamble: it’s the only way to no Brexit, but it’s also more likely than not to lead to no deal, which is surely the worst possible outcome.

Assuming the vote rejects the deal, as currently is looking likely, I can’t imagine May will last the day. Then either an individual will challenge her leadership, there will be a party vote of no confidence or there will be a general vote of no confidence in the government.

The last of these results in a general election which will be a de facto referendum on Brexit in some areas and a foregone conclusion in others. With the differing views throughout the Labour party, it won’t be clear whether Brexit or no Brexit has won unless Labour campaigns on a People’s Vote platform (i.e. for a real second referendum) and wins handily. The result of the second referendum seems like certain remain, based on polling data. This will leave the country paralysed for months but is probably the most likely route to no Brexit.

If there’s a party vote of no confidence, as I understand it the rank and file members get to choose a new leader. This is likely to result in a Brexiteer being elected as they include the most recognisable names and the party as a whole appears to be a little to the right of its MPs.
If there’s an individual leadership challenge, I believe MPs get to choose the next leader. This will lay bare the divisions in the party but there appear to be more who want to leave than stay so I can’t see anyone who runs on any sort of remain platform ending up as the chosen leader.

If we do end up with a leader in favour of no Brexit, they will still need to get legislation through parliament to revoke Article 50. In the case of a general election or particularly a second referendum, this should be easy. If we still have all the same MPs though, it will be very tricky to pass. The frothing section of the press will be calling everyone traitors who votes against the “expressed will of the people”. Much acrimony to be expected.


May’s deal is really the best that the UK can expect to get, and it’s going to be pure chaos if it’s voted down…

So we all know what is going to happen.


It’s not as bad because it’s one of those “no taxation without representation” things, it feels less bad. Still pretty bad though, I’d guess she’s one of those who thought Brexit meant not having to care about any of the EU’s rules, instead of you know, giving up your power to vote on those rules.


The people on the Brexiter side who dislike the deal are willing to tolerate more border friction, and not at all willing to accept compromise of sovereignty. May has always wanted to minimise border friction, both in NI and more widely, which as you say has lead to the deal we have.

The EU insisting on zero NI border friction as a precondition for any deal is still obnoxious mind you, but we will never know if May and Robbins really pushed back on this to the extent that people with sovereignty concerns would have wanted. This make for a ready made stab in the back narrative.

In any case the deal does several things May promised she wouldn’t do. It has no legitimacy democratically, which proves May has learned nothing from this mess. Really that is why it is a bad deal - because it is a ready made recruiting tool for populists.


I wonder what a non populist recruiting tool deal would look like to you? Because from my POV, there’s no such thing…