Brexit.

Innula Zenovka

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So apparently Johnson is threatening to defy a vote of no confidence and will refuse to quit in that event as it is "only convention" that he should do so.

Unfortunately pretty much all of the UK's so called constitution is "only convention"

Professor Mark Elliott has a helpful article analysing the legal and constitutional implications of Johnson's so doing -- which I still do believe he would do since it would leave the UK without a government for a month before a no-deal Brexit and leave the Civil Service in an impossible position as they tried to keep the public informed about vital information about the emergency measures that were put in place while obeying the very strict rules that constrain what the Civil Service may and may not to during a General Election campaign.

I think this whole thing with Dominic Cummings playing the pantomime Villain (with Boris Johnson as the Dame -- a role traditionally played by a male clown, after all) is the Leave equivalent of "project fear," designed to scare wavering Conservative MPs away from voting for a No Confidence motion and, if that fails, to give Johnson some plausible excuse for reneging on his commitment not to call an election while we're still in the EU.

But it's a very dangerous game, and I am terrified that they're blunder into a no-deal Brexit by mistake.

Anyway, the article:


HIs conclusion:

As the autumn unfolds, and as the cliff-edge beckons, we will see whether the majority of parliamentarians who are opposed to a no-deal Brexit can recover the situation. As I have sought to show in this post, Parliament does have options open to it. But those options are limited in legal terms — and decidedly so in political terms.
 

Innula Zenovka

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?

Enlighten my ignorance!
Wikipedia knows:
Psephology (/sɪˈfɒlədʒi/; from Greek ψῆφος, psephos, 'pebble', as the Greeks used pebbles as ballots) is a branch of political science, the "quantitative analysis of elections and balloting".[1] As such, psephology attempts to scientifically explicate elections.

Psephology uses historical precinct voting data, public opinion polls, campaign finance information and similar statistical data. The term was coined in 1948 in the United Kingdom by W. F. R. Hardie (1902–1990) after he was asked by his friend R. B. McCallum for a word to describe the study of elections; first written use in 1952.[2] Voting theory is a different field of study that studies voting from a mathematical perspective.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Two leading figures from the previous political generation, Michael Heseltine and Betty Boothroyd, former Conservative Deputy PM and Labour Speaker of the House respectively, on Johnson and Cummings' plans for a no-deal Brexit.

Nothing terribly surprising, but it does bring home the gravity of the situation:


As does this:


The idea that Downing Street is even contemplating dragging HM into this mess would have been unthinkable even a year ago. It's almost impossible to express how improper this is, for both constitutional reasons and more generally, particularly in what must be the final years of her reign.

Evernote links because Times £wall.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Note to UK people: there is a petition for this in the description.


edit: His petition link is Petition: Discuss the notion that a no deal Brexit is not the legal default. although it looks to be help up for a couple days.
I rather fear that a petition to say that A No Deal Brexit is not the legal default is about as sensible as a petition to say that the sun rises in the west.

Quite simply, by automatic action of both UK and EU law, the UK's membership of the EU terminates at 11 pm October 31, with or without a deal, unless either the UK unilaterally revokes the A50 notification or both the EU and the UK agree to an extension, and that's it.

I wish this wasn't the case, but unfortunately it is, and no amount of petitions or YouTube videos can change that.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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The National Crime Agency (NCA) is examining claims that Arron Banks, the businessman who helped fund Brexit, smuggled diamonds out of South Africa.

The NCA has been passed allegations made by Banks’s former business partner that Banks attempted to source black-market gems from Zimbabwe and pretend they had come from his mines in South Africa.

The evidence, collected by South Africa’s organised crime unit, includes a claim that Banks was “dealing with Russians” and trying “to marry . . . illegally gotten diamonds” from other African nations with output from his own struggling mines.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Innula Zenovka

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David Gauke, who resigned as Justice Minister and Lord Chancellor on Theresa May's departure, since he opposes a no-deal Brexit and will not serve under Boris Johnson, has posted some holiday pix on Twitter:

 

Tigger

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The thing about international agreements is that they don't exist until they have been ratified by both sides. They can talk a good game but lets just put a timer on this great deal and see when it appears.
 

Sid

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The thing about international agreements is that they don't exist until they have been ratified by both sides. They can talk a good game but lets just put a timer on this great deal and see when it appears.
Plus, one needs a president on the other side of the pond, that doesn't treat agreements as if they are written on toilet paper.
 

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Another good reason to take Bolton's promises with a grain of salt is that he can not ensure Congress will approve anything.

Under US law, there are three different process for establishing what is referred to as a treaty under international norms, despite the fact that only one of these is called a Treaty in the US Constitution.
  • The President can make limited agreements through an executive agreement, but these are generally short-term and require only action by the executive branch.
  • A congressional-executive treaty is usually the easiest to pass, since it requires only a majority in each chamber of Congress (although can be filibustered in the Senate). This method has the advantage that it makes relevant changes to Federal law as part of the ratification process. Most trade agreements are done this way.
  • A treaty, according to the US Constitution, must be passed with the Advice and Consent of 2/3rds of the Senate. This is generally reserved for long lasting commitments and membership in multi-national organizations. Treaties passed by the Senate need enabling legislation to pass both houses of Congress to make any changes to Federal law.
Speaker Pelosi has made it clear that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Democrats will not bring a free trade agreement with the UK up for a vote in the House. That blocks off the most common method of passing a free trade agreement.

If the President wants to use the Treaty clause of the US Constitution, then it is necessary to keep all Republicans on board as well as 14 Democrats. Many Senators from eastern seaboard states with large Irish-American communities will find it difficult to support an agreement if the Brexit process causes major disruptions in Ireland, especially if there is an uptick in violence. Given the non-existent relationship between Trump and the Senate Democrats, it would be a hard sell.

That leaves the Executive Agreement option, which allows the President some flexibility on tariffs, a bit of wiggle room on regulations, but can not make any necessary changes to US law. These deals will necessarily be limited in scope, and may not survive the 2020 elections.
 
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