Brexit.

Grandma Bates

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That's simply wrong, we could stall on purpose and have them negotiate with us in a much weakened position after several month of "No Deal" Brexit... Yeah we would loose a bit too but it would cost us much less in the long term as Britain would be much more ready to accept whatever we want of them after throwing themselves against a wall in their tantrum. I guess by continuing to hold out the helping hand to the raging British Trump-Wannabe no matter how uncooperative he becomes the EU tries to gain the moral high ground.
Well, the EU could stall, but first they have to wait for the UK to even show up. At this point the British PM is still exploring every alternative that does not involve any actual decision making or interacting with the EU in a manner that might be confused with that of an adult. As long as PM Johnson is busy poisoning the well there is not much point in doing the same. Threatening to violate international law, even if only in a strict technical sense, while openly recognizing that is what one is doing is a bit of a show stopper.

Edit to add: I should have watched the video posted by Ms Innula above before replying. I did not realize the EU is not waiting for the UK to come around and have taken the first steps to challenge some of the provisions in the bill pending in the UK parliament. I am not sure what this means or how it can be done given that the bill is only in its second reading. Regardless, it seems they have decided not to stall or even wait. As indicated by Ms Innula, they have decided that the Republic of Ireland's interests are more important than brinkmanship.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Then that's over with, at the end of the year, and he can start thinking about announcing he's done what he set out to, and step down to leave Rishi Sunak or Michael Gove or someone to pick up the pieces -- notoriously he wanted to become Prime Minister, and he wants to have been the PM, but he clearly doesn't enjoy the job while he has it, and he's no good at it, and he's been ill and he's got yet another new family demanding his attention, so why not?
Johnson loves himself so much that he cannot and will not rob the people of the United Kingdom of the pleasure being ruled by him.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Johnson loves himself so much that he cannot and will not rob the people of the United Kingdom of the pleasure being ruled by him.
I'm sorry, but if you think Johnson cares about the pleasure of the people of the UK, you sadly mistaken -- he cares only about himself, and his own comfort and convenience, and, while he certainly enjoys the power and privileges that go with the job, he clearly doesn't like doing the actual work, and he's becoming increasingly ill-tempered as his and his government's failures and shortcomings are proving more and more obvious by the week.

To my mind, he wants to leave office as soon as he can, so he can go back to what he's good at -- getting paid absurd amounts of money writing articles for friendly newspapers and giving speeches to sympathetic audiences.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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No, I don't think that Johnson cares about the people of the UK. I do think though that he enjoys being their PM because he can be quite self absorbed, and wants to stay that for a while.
 

Innula Zenovka

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No, I don't think that Johnson cares about the people of the UK. I do think though that he enjoys being their PM because he can be quite self absorbed, and wants to stay that for a while.
We see a lot more of him than probably you do, and many people have commented on how he's clearly not enjoying the job. He's notoriously lazy, and he likes to be liked, which doesn't make him a good fit for a role that's very demanding and involves talking tough and unpopular decisions.

He had an easy time of it when Jeremy Corbyn was leading the Labour Party, but Keir Starmer is a very different character, and Johnson is finding that a weekly cross-examination by a leading criminal barrister about his government's mishandling of Covid-19 is nowhere near as much fun as a weekly confrontation between Boris the jolly toff and Corbyn the dim cartoon Marxist, and it really shows.

Support for the Conservatives in general, and Johnson's approval rating with Conservative supporters in particular, have tumbled since Starmer became Leader of the Opposition, not least because Starmer comes over as serious, intelligent, competent and decent, while Johnson comes as ... well, Boris Johnson.

This is obviously worrying his own MPs no end, and reminding them why so many of them didn't want him as leader in the first place, precisely because they knew what he was like to work with, while the ordinary party members who voted for him knew only his articles and TV personality.

Add to that the fact he has a lot of very experienced former ministers and junior ministers on the back benches, because he's filled his government with men and women whose main qualification is their loyalty rather than their talent, and he's in a very uncomfortable place indeed.

To my mind, he certainly won't want to lead the party into the next general election (and they won't want him to) and I think he'll be planning to leave as soon as he can claim to have fulfilled his promise to "get Brexit done," and let someone else handle the consequences, along with Covid-19 and a world recession.

I just hope a no-deal Brexit and a breakdown of the Irish peace process aren't among the consequences with which his successor has to deal.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Well either way we are going to see what happens. I've now been so many times in the UK on deadline day only to watch BBC News telling "another extension again", so let's see what happens this time.
 

Innula Zenovka

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(Not me. Speaking as someone who had to shield completely, to the extent I didn't leave the grounds of the block of flats I live in for three months, I find it lot easier to forgive people who broke the lockdown rules than people who support Leave)

 

Innula Zenovka

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Here's one Tory MP for whom it's a step too far, though I wonder how many of his colleagues will share his example.

The comparison with Nixon (though I think the "madman theory" was Kissinger's idea) had occurred to me, too.

 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Well Johnson has a majority of 40 MPs in the HoC and the Tories don't depend on another party this time like it was while May ruled, so he can afford to loose quite some before getting into serious trouble.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Well Johnson has a majority of 40 MPs in the HoC and the Tories don't depend on another party this time like it was while May ruled, so he can afford to loose quite some before getting into serious trouble.
It's got to get through the Lords, too, remember, and since the Withdrawal Agreement was signed by Boris Johnson and formed part of the Conservatives' manifesto last December, the "Salisbury Convention" (that the unelected Upper Chamber doesn't block the Government's manifesto commitments) doesn't apply. We'll see soon enough, but if there's a large enough rebellion against it in the Commons it may not make it to the Lords, but if it does, it's going to be difficult to get it through unscathed.

Here's Matthew Parris' take on it:



Also, here's Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's Chief of Staff, on the subject, along with a Tory Brexiteer gargoyle

 
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Innula Zenovka

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Arkady Arkright

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Brexit: Buckland says power to override Withdrawal Agreement is 'insurance policy'
He said "he would resign if the UK ended up breaking international law "in a way I find unacceptable"

This man is supposed to uphold the law in and for the UK, he shouldn't get to pick and choose which bits of it he defends and which he ignores. Personally I would have thought that breaking any part of international law was always unacceptable, but apparently not Boris' and Dominic's robber-barron administration.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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ETA


When the Queen’s minister gives his word, on her behalf, it should be axiomatic that he will keep it
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Whatever happens with the current bill to break international law, and deal or no deal, this is what we can expect from January 1st.


Queuing is very British, though, and I'm sure yelling "Project Fear!" will help pass the time.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Keir Starmer is self-isolating because he discovered this morning that one of his children is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, so Ed Miliband, former Labour leader and current shadow Business Secretary, led for the Opposition, and he took Johnson to pieces, exposing him for the charlatan and con-man that he is: