Brexit.

Tigger

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Yes, but crashing out without a deal carries an equally strong risk of creating a similar split along pretty much the same faultlines, while at the same time trashing the economy and thus upsetting the Conservatives' main backers, which is something else she would presumably want to do everything she can to avoid.
I don't think so. The ERG are the militant tory Rebels, they will be entirely happy with a no deal crash. The pro-EU tories barely qualify as rebels and I think are unlikely to split regardless of the outcome.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I don't think so. The ERG are the militant tory Rebels, they will be entirely happy with a no deal crash. The pro-EU tories barely qualify as rebels and I think are unlikely to split regardless of the outcome.
I don't see how you work that out.

The amendment offers the current deal (i.e. government policy) subject to ratification by referendum, with remain as the alternative if referendum rejects the current deal.

That is, unless there's a remarkable change over the next couple of weeks, it offers the only possible way for the government to get its policy enacted.

If and when things come to a point where Withdrawal Agreement subject to ratification by referendum is the only choice other than crash out with no deal, who will be opposed to it? The ERG, obviously.

But what of the Government and their supporters? How many of them are going to decide they'd rather have no deal now rather than the chance of their Withdrawal Agreement some time later this year or early next? And that's before you take into account the Conservative Remainers plus the (to my mind somewhat larger) number of Conservative MPs who would prefer to remain if it wasn't for the referendum result.

Take another look at how MPs voted last time: Find out how your MP voted on the Brexit amendments - interactive

Caroline Spelman’s amendment rejecting leaving without a withdrawal agreement was carried 318 -- 310. The other amendments were lost by 30-odd votes (apart from the Nationalists' amendments, on which Labour abstained).

The ERG has some 60-odd members we know about, plus an indeterminate number of supporters, so let's double it -- say 120 votes in all. Where are the other 200-odd votes coming from to create a majority to push through a no-deal Brexit?

People forget that the ERG has roughly the same number of members as the People's Vote campaign in Parliament. Remember how people had been worrying and fussing for months about how they'd depose May and replace her with someone more to their tastes if she didn't behave, and then look what happened when they tried.

Paper tigers, the lot of them.
 
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Tigger

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So the spellman amendment says we want a deal, the vote on May's deal says but not that deal, reality says there is no other deal. The Spellman amendment is not binding on the government. What is binding is article 50 and that runs out on march 29.

The ERG has no need to win a vote for no deal. All they need to do is prevent a deal being passed. May could request an extension to art.50, but she won't and even if she did it wouldn't be granted just because she can't win a vote in the commons.

Her realistic choices are:
1) withdraw art 50.
2) request an extension in order to have a peoples vote ref
3) accept no deal

Instead she's going for option 4) wait until the last moment and re-offer her deal as the only alternative to crashing out.

Her gamble is that people are scared enough of no-deal to vote for her deal. To counter that the ERG will vote against it, the DUP will vote against it, Corbyn will not vote for May's deal, he will probably try to whip labour to vote against it. Some may rebel and support it but not enough to get it through.

Once her gambit fails there are two choices left, she can withdraw art 50 or she can allow a no deal. She will allow no deal.
 
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Tigger

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She's spent her time in office digging a hole for herself: will of the people, brexit means brexit, no deal is better than a bad deal.

These aren't things she said once or twice. These are her mantras that she's repeated time and time again. To turn around after all that and say "brexit's off, sorry" would be beyond the tolerance of her ego.
 

Lianne Marten

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The original version of Corbyn's letter to May included a passage about a second referendum.

Corbyn removed that part before presenting it to her.





E: God I hate Twitter being used for longer form statements.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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So the spellman amendment says we want a deal, the vote on May's deal says but not that deal, reality says there is no other deal. The Spellman amendment is not binding on the government. What is binding is article 50 and that runs out on march 29.

The ERG has no need to win a vote for no deal. All they need to do is prevent a deal being passed. May could request an extension to art.50, but she won't and even if she did it wouldn't be granted just because she can't win a vote in the commons.

Her realistic choices are:
1) withdraw art 50.
2) request an extension in order to have a peoples vote ref
3) accept no deal

Instead she's going for option 4) wait until the last moment and re-offer her deal as the only alternative to crashing out.

Her gamble is that people are scared enough of no-deal to vote for her deal. To counter that the ERG will vote against it, the DUP will vote against it, Corbyn will not vote for May's deal, he will probably try to whip labour to vote against it. Some may rebel and support it but not enough to get it through.

Once her gambit fails there are two choices left, she can withdraw art 50 or she can allow a no deal. She will allow no deal.
What I'm saying is that May could almost certainly win a vote in the Commons for the Withdrawal Agreement if ratified by a referendum (and if not, then A50 is withdrawn). The ERG couldn't stop that, if the Government were prepared to do along with it.

So the question is what happens at the very last point when she yet again offers her Withdrawal Agreement pretty much unchanged.

At the moment she says nope, she wants her withdrawal agreement and to leave on March 29. Well, we already know that that's impossible, no matter what happens to the Withdrawal Agreement -- even if it were accepted tomorrow by Parliament, there's not time to pass the necessary statutes and statutory instruments to leave on March 29, so she'd have to ask for an extension.

So I don't take particularly seriously anything she says about what she's going or not going to do -- as I've said before, what she says about not calling elections and when votes are scheduled doesn't seem to mean much, so we'll see what happens in a few weeks' time.

Similarly, I don't take particularly seriously anything Jeremy Corbyn says, particularly about whatever Labour's policy is on the EU, because there doesn't really seem to be one.

When it comes down to it, though, I find it very difficult to believe that he would put himself in a position where he tries to whip the Labour Party into voting against something that offers a People's Vote and thus enables no-deal to occur.

He'd face a massive revolt, both from the Labour front and back benches and, possibly equally importantly, from his normal supporters in the Labour Party itself -- party activists and branches, who are normally far more supportive of him than are his MPs.

I think the proposed amendment is something both May and Corbyn can -- probably will have to -- accept but don't want to be seen at the moment to be at all enthusiastic about it. I can't see them making more effort, though, to block it than is strictly necessary to maintain plausible deniability for its passing.

But there's lots that can go wrong, of course. We'll just have to see what happens over the next few weeks.
 

Innula Zenovka

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These aren't things she said once or twice. These are her mantras that she's repeated time and time again. To turn around after all that and say "brexit's off, sorry" would be beyond the tolerance of her ego.
Yes, but has she said them any more times than she said there definitely wouldn't be a snap election in 2017 or that the "Meaningful Vote" would definitely take place in December 2018?

This is the woman who asked the EU for the backstop, for heaven's sake, and signed up to the Withdrawal Agreement, and ended up voting for an amendment that rejected the deal she'd just signed and telling her to go back and renegotiate the deal to change the backstop she proposed.

What she says and what she does are two completely different things -- she's focussed on whatever will get her through the next week. Her word means very little.
 
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Tigger

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Yes, but has she said them any more times than she said there definitely wouldn't be a snap election in 2017 or that the "Meaningful Vote" would definitely take place in December 2018?

This is the woman who asked the EU for the backstop, for heaven's sake, and signed up to the Withdrawal Agreement, and ended up voting for an amendment that rejected the deal she'd just signed and telling her to go back and renegotiate the deal to change the backstop she proposed.

What she says and what she does are two completely different things -- she's focussed on whatever will get her through the next week. Her word means very little.
I agree her word is worthless, she's lied to her own MPs. But I see a very big difference between journalists saying "Will there be an election prime minister" and her responding no, and "No deal is better than a bad deal" which she has stood up on stage and repeated again and again and again and again. It has literally been the single consistent theme and founding principle of her time in office. To my mind, she is as likely to turn on that promise as she is to start nationalising the railways.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I agree her word is worthless, she's lied to her own MPs. But I see a very big difference between journalists saying "Will there be an election prime minister" and her responding no, and "No deal is better than a bad deal" which she has stood up on stage and repeated again and again and again and again. It has literally been the single consistent theme and founding principle of her time in office. To my mind, she is as likely to turn on that promise as she is to start nationalising the railways.
Yes, but I don't see how her believing "No deal is better than a bad deal" is in any way incompatible with Withdrawal Agreement, subject to ratification by referendum.

May doesn't think her deal is a bad deal, after all. She agreed it with the EU and has been doing her best, though without a lot of success, to persuade Parliament to accept it.

Obviously she doesn't want another referendum, but it may well represent the only possibility of leaving the EU on the terms she negotiated. She's been saying "no deal is better than a bad deal," after all, rather than "no deal is better than a good deal (which she says hers is) subject to ratification by a second referendum."
 

Sid

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Is that party leaving the country or what is their goal during the next elections?
 
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Kara Spengler

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As both someone who grew up on british things [the children's fiction was much more to my taste as a child in the 70s, and I watched a lot of british television], and who has learned that not only that I've got Scottish and English ancesters [and dna], but also apparently distant cousins, I'm now following this even more avidly. Both for my distant-ish family, but because my bucket list is going to every place that is prominent in my family tree.
I think I pretty much ODed on britcoms and shows like classic Doctor Who as a kid. To the point where when I met some people from the UK they asked if everyone from New England had a British accent.
 

Kara Spengler

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Americans will then refer to her as Mrs. McConnell. Is she truly heartless enough to let that happen though? We know Mitch McConnell is; how do these people rise to power without a smidgen of care for the people they represent?
Turtleneck sweaters?
 
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Sid

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To the point where when I met some people from the UK they asked if everyone from New England had a British accent.
Well, at least people from New England have a reasonable easy understandable accent for us Europeans, compared to states like Louisiana, Texas and others.