Brexit.

Tigger

not on speaking terms with the voices in my head
Sep 24, 2018
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It's worth adding that a government has never before been found to be in contempt of parliament.

Parliament is sovereign. It represents the views of the British public. It is the boss of government, not the other way round.


The delay-gambit failed. MPs voted against it by 311 to 307. The government's defence was shattered. Then came the charge, in the form of a vote on the motion itself. Again Mps defeated the government, this time by 311 to 293. The government was officially found in contempt of parliament, for the first time in British history.


It is an indelible stain on the government's reputation. It had tried to keep legal advice secret. It had tried to undermine parliament by simply refusing to fight. It had tried to ignore what parliament eventually decided.
May crushed as parliament humbles her before Brexit vote
 

Sid

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Innula Zenovka

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Boris Johnson's speech to Parliament today opposing the Withdrawal Agreement from the "hard Brexit" side has gone down very badly with his colleagues, and most commentators seem to think he's now shot whatever chances remained of a leadership role -- he had slogans rather than coherent arguments and his proposals, when he did finally make them, were childish.

And, at one point he managed to come out with this:
 

Khamon

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Sep 23, 2018
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Is the Government being in contempt of Parliament sort of like the US President being impeached by Congress?
 

Innula Zenovka

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Is the Government being in contempt of Parliament sort of like the US President being impeached by Congress?
It's never happened before. Strictly speaking, it's either the Attorney General or the Minister for the Cabinet Office (or both?) who was or were in contempt. If they had continued in their contempt, after the finding, parliament could -- probably would -- have suspended them from parliament for a week or so. Theoretically, I think, it could have locked them up in the clock tower, but they haven't done that for a while!

So it's more like one of the executive being found in contempt of congress for refusing to produce documents when given a sub poena. It's certainly very embarrassing for the government and yet one more sign it's close to collapse, I think.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Blimey. Ian Dunt (editor of politics.co.uk) has done a massive live tweet of today's quite unprecedented events in parliament.

If anyone's interested -- and I think it has wider appeal than just to politics geeks like me -- the thread is presented as one long page here or, if you prefer, the original starts here:
 
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Oct 6, 2018
137
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Well, count me as a new fan of David Lammy. Those were inspiring, encouraging, compassionate sentiments, not heard much in all this misbegotten accelerationism. (My own chocolate fireguard got a brief mention, which was as much as he tends to deserve)

Gods, if we can only wind up with an Article 50 withdrawal somehow, whether initiated of their own account by PM May, PM Corbyn, or under a new referendum's mandate.
 

Veritable Quandry

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Sep 19, 2018
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Well, even if the parliament gets the full legal advise, I guess there's not so much standing in it what's going to be a surprise or would change much.
I suspect that it may not surprise anyone but competent legal advice would almost certainly have more nuance and uncertainty than the Government has been projecting.

Take for example May's position that the UK can't unilaterally withdraw the Article 50 notice. You can support that position by pointing out that there is no mechanism in the treaty to do so. But as the treaty does not prohibit it either and a number of people involved in drafting Article 50 say it can be withdrawn, the legal advice should highlight that without court history the matter is speculative at best.

Indeed most of the legal advice will be speculative at best as no one has left the EU before and untangling the legal ties is unprecedented.

But that kind of reasoning undercuts May's strategy which apparently is against the interest of the state.
 

Innula Zenovka

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A lot of people have made the point that the Withdrawal Agreement has been closely analysed by a lot of very competent people with experience in EU law, so it's unlikely the AG's advice is going to contain any great surprises.

To my mind, the government are probably unwilling to have it published in full because it makes explicit various points to which the document's critics have already drawn attention (particularly the difficulty of leaving the backstop arrangements) but which the government have been keen to minimise and dismiss as purely hypothetical.

They will also be understandably nervous about the principle of publishing law officers' advice.
 

Tigger

not on speaking terms with the voices in my head
Sep 24, 2018
135
Well, count me as a new fan of David Lammy. Those were inspiring, encouraging, compassionate sentiments, not heard much in all this misbegotten accelerationism. (My own chocolate fireguard got a brief mention, which was as much as he tends to deserve)

Gods, if we can only wind up with an Article 50 withdrawal somehow, whether initiated of their own account by PM May, PM Corbyn, or under a new referendum's mandate.
David Lammy is one of a very small number of genuinely impressive MPs.
 
Sep 21, 2018
57
EU.. Germany
And what is the stance of the EU on the british "discussion" how to change or to handle the proposed deal (UK - EU).?
Katya Adler, BBC Europe Editior, writes :

"




3) Regardless of the result of the vote in parliament on 11th, the EU is adamant the deal on the table is the best compromise for both sides - they say they can and will go no further
5) One high places EU diplomat told me drily: We could offer to change the colour of the paper the is printed on to pink or to red, white and blue if that would help Theresa May

 
Oct 6, 2018
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Leave 'very likely' won Brexit referendum due to illegal overspending, Oxford professor to tell High Court

It is “very likely” that the UK voted for Brexit because of illegal overspending by the Vote Leave campaign, an Oxford professor will tell the High Court. An exhaustive analysis of the campaign’s digital strategy concludes it reached “tens of millions of people” in its last crucial days, after its spending limit had been breached – enough to change the outcome.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Peter Foster, the Daily Telegraph's Europe editor, on the fatuity of MPs' demands that Theresa May go back to Brussels and renegotiate the backstop (or anything else).


I'm in part relieved that, at last, the fantasy in which the Brexit Taliban (not my original phrase, but I like it) have been living is finally falling to pieces around them, but I'm also both angry and sad that getting to the point where reality-based politics get a look-in again has taken so long and done so much damage.
 

Veritable Quandry

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The very idea that Parliament would ask the PM to go back and remove the backstop kind of demonstrates why a backstop is necessary in the first place. No one has a workable solution to propose to the border issue ("technological measures" is not actually a solution any more than "faery dust" or "because") but are firmly against anything that has been proposed because of contradictory demands to not have a border while having a border and why not get Mexico to pay for it.
 
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Sep 26, 2018
273
I have watched BBC live from the House of Commons yesterday in the evening. Since I am for the moment staying in London again interesting times being here.

I've listened to Daniel Kawczynski and some other MPs, mostly labour or conservative. Being Mr. Speaker in this debate for sure means that you've got to have steadiness at your disposal.

Anyway, what caught my attention were always these points, which seem to be really, really important to a lot of people, since the MPs always mentioned it:

1. Getting back sovereignity
Is being under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice really such a bad thing to the UK, and if so, why? How comes that enough Brits do fear that they are driven by somebody foreign entities, or at least do fear that this might happen? This seems to be one of the very hot topics in the debate
2. Fear of getting absorbed by an European superstate
Connected with the first topic, there this to be seems fear lingering around somewhere that the UK might just be absorbed in a not so far away future from a European superstate, where the UK might just loose its national identity and culture.
3. Fear of not prospering enough due to the EU's tariff regime and other regulations
Ironically some do really fear that the EU is holding back the growth of the UK due to its tariff regime and other regulations.
4. The outcome of the referendum
Many MPs pointed out, that even if the voters in their constituency voted for leave they for sure didn't want to be far worse after leaving the EU than they've been before, and that they've been outright lied to.
5. The need to invest the saved money from leaving the EU into the UK
Many MPs pointed out, that the EU has been investing in many educational institutions, infrastructure and so on, and by pulling out this money is going to drown, so that the government needs to take over those payments by investing the money saved from leaving the EU into the UK itself.
6. Taking back control about the fishing grounds
This seems to be a really important topic as well; why such a small fraction of the economy gets so much attention is though way beyond me.
 

Innula Zenovka

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A leading Brexiteer confronted with one of the people, whose will parliament must not , of course, ignore:

 
Sep 20, 2018
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All this chaos in December has me wondering what HM's Christmas Speech will be like.