Tuesday, November 13, 2018

We're about to see the difference between a real political party (the DUP) and a branch office (the Scottish Tories)

So there's a deal in principle between the UK government and the EU, but whether it will ever get through the various stages of ratification remains to be seen.  It seems likely that the text must incorporate another convoluted fudge on the Irish backstop, with Northern Ireland being treated differently from the rest of the UK in a way that drives a coach and horses through Theresa May's supposed red line, but with some sort of political commitment that the backstop can never come into play and therefore doesn't matter.  I suspect that won't be good enough for the DUP, and that in turn will put the Scottish Tories in a very awkward place.

After last year's general election, one of the political correspondents on TV (I think it may have been Faisal Islam, but correct me if I'm wrong) notoriously claimed that the Scottish Tories were now "technically the fourth largest party in the Commons".  That was nonsensical on all sorts of levels - even if you could somehow justify regarding branch offices as separate parties, Welsh Labour would still comfortably outnumber the Scottish Tories.  But to be charitable, maybe he misspoke and intended to say "effectively" rather than "technically"- ie. he believed that Ruth Davidson combined a certainty of purpose with a hold over her Westminster group, and that they would therefore act in practice like a distinct party.  If so, we're now about to be treated to yet another demonstration that he couldn't have been more wrong.  Mundell and Davidson will swiftly backtrack on their supposed threats to resign on the basis that a worthless political assurance can be treated as gospel, whereas Arlene Foster will see the situation as it actually is and will stand her ground.  And that's the difference between being a real party leader and a puppet.

A couple of other points.  We're now closer than ever before to the clarity on Brexit that Nicola Sturgeon was looking for before making an announcement on a second independence referendum.  It won't be clarity on the long-term shape of a post-Brexit economic relationship, but it could be clarity on where the UK will find itself on 30th March next year, which I presume is all she can realistically hope for.  Could we be just weeks away from the First Minister pressing for a Section 30 order once again?

And secondly, what happens if the DUP pull the plug and there's a snap general election?  Can the Scottish Tories fit both "No2Indyref2" and "No2EURef2" on their campaigns posters in the north-east?  If not, which message do they prioritise?  Decisions, decisions...

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49 comments:

  1. Second Brexit referendum almost a certainty. Cant see anything having the votes to pass parliament, which means even a second referendum off the bat or a GE followed by a second referendum.

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    1. It's barely a 20% chance, let alone a "certainty".

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    2. If parliment does not agree the deal its happening. SNP would vote for it, Lib Dems would vote for it, good chunk of the Conservatives would vote for it, that leaves Labour, any do you really think they are going to support the Brexiteer Conservatives in voting against it, so they will vote for it.

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    3. Not if the Tories are set upon a 'No Deal'.

      They do not need to 'get the numbers' for that in Parliament, per se (despite common misconceptions to the contrary, No Deal is the default and is what happens at the end of two years of Art 50 if you have not...made a deal).

      The only way numbers will then come into play is if two thirds of MPs are horrified at the prospect and can collapse the government quickly enough via the Fixed Term Parliament Act. It is said that it *might* be possible to get a short extension to allow for a GE and/or a ref. But you're relying on enough Tory 'rebels' as well as all of the opposition parties voting to get you there.....far from certain, particularly in the case of the rebel Tories, that that will happen.

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    4. For clarity, you need something like 94 Tory MPs to vote to bring the government down to get an election.

      NOT. EASY.

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    5. "If parliment does not agree the deal its happening."

      Rubbish.

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    6. really please enlighten us to what you think will happen if Parliament does not vote for the deal, do you honestly think that there is a majority in parliament for a no deal?

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    7. No there isn't. Problematically for you, however, there is no parliamentary majority for a "People's Vote", and the likelihood is that there wouldn't be one even after a general election. You seem to think a referendum is some kind of automatic default if nothing else works. It isn't.

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    8. So again what do you think will happen, you keep saying there will be no peoples vote but admit that there is no majority for no deal, so what do you think will happen?

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    9. Anonymous, you clearly haven't read the comments above. There does not need to be a majority for no deal.

      No deal is the default outcome in the event of a failure to get a majority for a deal.

      Unless TM can get a majority for her deal, as difficult as that is, THERE WILL BE a no deal Brexit with no transition period.

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    10. Yea i know, but the point is there is no majority in parliament to let that happen. So either there is a new deal presented to Parliament and I cant see a version of a deal that would manage to pass parliament or a second referendum in the hope that that referendum comes out in favor of remain. If its a choice between no deal or a second referendum, aside from the hardcore Brexiters other MPs will choose second referendum.

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    11. Very, very unlikely. There is no majority in the Commons for a second referendum (certainly not one with Remain as an option), and there is unlikely to be such a majority even after a general election. I've already pointed that out, so we're going round in circles here.

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    12. Anonymous, sorry but it seems you're not getting it.

      1. If there is no parliamentary majority for a deal, there will be no deal.

      2. If there is no parliamentary majority for a 'people's vote' then there won't be one.

      Currently, there is no majority for a 'people's vote' so it is very unlikely to happen.

      A proposed deal has just been announced and reluctantly accepted by the cabinet. Will there be a parliamentary majority for it? Wait and see.

      Finally, I'm led to believe that the 'people's vote' is a vote to accept or reject the deal. It is not a vote on 'no deal', we're that to be the outcome. I might be wrong on this point.

      Long story short, my money's on 'no deal' for the above reasons plus a few more.

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  2. Could they go with "No to a second referendum" and leave the voters to decide which one they mean? That way, Ruth can change her stance from interview to interview depending on which way her face is pointing at the time.

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    1. Good point but don't give the witless clown ideas.

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  3. Repeal the Treaty of Union. The terms of the Treaty have never been adheard to by Westminster since the day it was singed.

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    1. Yes. The SNP should make it a manifest commitment at the next election to repeal the Act of Union. Most, if not all, other countries in the world who have gained independence have taken it, not asked for permission to have it.

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    2. That would make the SNP a dictatorship and could lead to violence.

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    3. OK, William Purves. I'll repeal it tomorrow. Problem solved.

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  4. Difficult to judge without knowing the detail but if we are talking about the UK remaining in the customs union and some kind of border control between Britain and All-Ireland then my guess is as follows:

    - SNP can't vote against as it fulfills one of Nicola's main demands/compromises (customs union)

    - SNP may abstain as it does not fulfill the other main demand/compromise (single market) but they can't if that means the deal would fall as a result

    - DUP will be furious and will vote against and will terminate the confidence deal with the Tories (but see below)

    - Most Tories and some Labour (I have no real idea how big the respective factions in either are) will vote for it

    - If it goes through, I suspect there will be a GE in short order and the Tories will win a thumping majority. This will end the irritation of the DUP for May and deliver a 'settled will' verdict which will increase the pressure for everyone to ratify the deal.

    There is real danger for the SNP here. Some people have been warning about this for some time but have been continually shouted down by the leadership loyalists who followed the lazy 'incompetent Tories / Hard Brexit' narrative.

    It might not come to that of course but I bet Nicola is feeling more uncomfortable this evening than she has for a very long time.

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    Replies
    1. "SNP can't vote against as it fulfills one of Nicola's main demands/compromises (customs union)"

      Just watch them. They've already said they will vote against anything less than CU/SM for Scotland, and have already made it clear they're not going to be corralled into voting for something they oppose under threat of "no deal".

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  5. Northern Irish unionists shocked to be sold out by England. All those wee marches, sashes, flags and love, yet only rejection in return, with the red saltire being unpicked from the jack.

    Sorry unionists, but you'll be sold out in a heartbeat if England can gain from it. Leave voting Scots fisherman are next in the long line.

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    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-nireland-wilson/northern-irish-dup-hardliner-we-will-not-vote-for-this-brexit-deal-humiliation-idUKKCN1NJ0T5?il=0

    Northern Irish DUP hardliner - We will not vote for this Brexit deal humiliation

    https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/brexit-deal-could-lead-to-break-up-of-uk-warns-jeffrey-donaldson-1-8705109

    Brexit deal could lead to break up of UK, warns Jeffrey Donaldson

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  6. Large Scots sample from:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/zyn6cwnsqt/PeoplesVote_waves1,2,3_Merge_w.pdf

    When Parliament votes on the issue [brexit deal], would you prefer your local MP to support or oppose the proposals for Brexit that the Government has recently set out?
    19% Support
    38% Oppose
    43% Don't know

    Based on UK-wide data, voters of all parties are saying 'reject' in a fairly substantial way. Only Tory voters are backing it. Lots of DK's though, but then people don't really understand the issues that well and what options really are.

    SNP should reject because Scots rejected leaving the EU. If Labour are rejecting, then why not the SNP either. If you want a people's vote you certainly need to reject; accept the deal and there's no need for a vote.

    That and everyone knows the nutter hard brexit only occurs if the UK jumps off the cliff voluntarily, led by England. The 27 have made it clear enough the UK can stay as long as it wants if it follows the rules and pays its dues. Any deadlines for exiting are only those the Tories have set set themselves to satisfy the rabid brexiters. I haven't met a single person who thinks otherwise. This is why the economy hasn't completely tanked; people still don't quite believe England will actually drive off the cliff in a fit of pique. If that actally looked like reality, then the economy would collapse in a matter of weeks.

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    1. Kinda like I said.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-46207184

      Brexit: SNP 'will not back agreement'

      If the deal was 'stay in the EU' or even 'stay in the single market and customs union with full free movement' then the SNP could back it as being the will of the 62%.

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  7. 'It won't be clarity on the long-term shape of a post-Brexit economic relationship'
    True - and thats exactly why NS will call indyref2, we need our own set of negotiations.

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    1. Who do you suggest will negotiate our sell out to the EU?

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    2. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its utter confusion.
      Poor, tormented, miserable Cordelia.
      So much impotent rage.
      So very funny.

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    3. I suggest Alma Reid, the vet's receptionist from Jedburgh. She's great at pub quizzes.

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    4. I suggest Sada - the first person ever evicted from Big Brother in Britain.
      "We are one with the goddess, and to the goddess we shall return. To the goddess."

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  8. Well Davidson, Mundell... rememeber they'll do the same to you as they're doing to the DUP at the drop of a hat.

    That's why they make you sit outside of important meetings, shining their shoes.

    At least the DUP seem to have some baws. Will you show some too and stand with the DUP against the break-up of the union like you said the Scottish Tories would?

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  9. This is what it feels like to be a Scot-Brit unionist realising the nationalists were right about the betrayal thing.

    (Notice how he doesn't actually know what the brexit agreement is because he has to sit outside important English cabinet meetings).

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-scotland/scottish-nationalists-and-opponents-jarred-by-northern-irish-brexit-terms-idUSKCN1NJ1IR?il=0

    Ross Thomson, a Brexit-supporting Scottish Conservative lawmaker, said on Twitter: “I fought head, heart, body and soul to save our Union in 2014. If the news reports are true, the backstop would result in Northern Ireland diverging unconsciously from the UK and it would fundamentally undermine our Union, breaking it up by the back door.
    “I find this unacceptable.”


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    SNP will vote against. Labour expected to join them. Scots Tories are ranting about betrayal... Seems to be a lot of unity, just like on the English nationalist attacks on devo...

    The very foundations of the union are beginning to crumble.

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  10. 2nd Brexit vote aint happening. The Tories have engineered a no deal Brexit. This is what they always wanted. May will not resign. The Tories see her as their sacrificial lamb to the slaughter. She will carry on until the UK crashes out in March 2019. We are now in no deal Brexit territory. The SNP need to act before this bill even goes before WM. It will inevitably get voted down , but don't think that will trigger an election. The Tories just need the no deal Brexit before any election which is why they will not call an election.

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    Replies
    1. Crashing out to WTO Rules makes sense. We do not have to give the EU corrupt Mafia any more dosh. Let the EU and ROI set up a hard border if they wish as the UK will not. Up yer kilts haggis chasers.

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    2. Our Heads Held HighNovember 14, 2018 at 6:06 PM

      We're leaving the Euros. We're leaving the Euros.

      Hurrah, happy 70th Birthday, Sir.

      Britain Free Again. Our gift to you, Sir. We were our poppies with honour and pride.

      Hip, hip. Hurrah!

      Delete
    3. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its utter confusion.
      Poor, tormented, miserable Cordelia.
      So much impotent rage.
      So very funny.

      Delete
    4. Glasgow Red White BlueNovember 15, 2018 at 6:16 PM

      Shove a corn on the cob up your arseho*e. But you'd love that wouldn't you Tootsy.

      Delete
    5. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its willingness to tell us entirely too much about its inner life.
      Poor, tormented, miserable Cordelia.
      So much impotent rage.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  11. SS - Yes the Tories civil war has finally reached breaking point. However I don't expect Scottish Tories to ever side with Scotland. What they will do is probably form a new ultra unionist party with Boris etc.

    Remember people like Ross Thompson are British not Scottish. They don't recognise Scotland as a nation, only a part of Britain.

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  12. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its utter confusion.
    Poor, tormented, miserable Cordelia really needs to lay off the Toilet Duck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to lick my duck. As I call it.

      Delete
    2. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its utter confusion.
      Poor, tormented, miserable Cordelia.
      So much impotent rage.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  13. Someone can smell their recently won seats vanishing quickly due to English betrayal.

    A DUP and border in the Irish sea moment for the Scottish unionists.

    ---

    Brexit: Scottish Conservatives warn over fishing deal

    The Scottish Conservatives have said they cannot support the draft Brexit deal without further assurances over the future of the fishing industry.

    The party's 13 MPs - including Scottish Secretary David Mundell - issued the warning in a letter to Theresa May.

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  14. So, let me get this straight. If I've got this right, then we have:

    SNP = 'This is a terribe deal for Scotland'
    Scottish Labour = 'This is a disatrous deal for Scotland'
    Scottish Libs = 'We can't support this awful deal for Scotland'
    Scottish Remain Tories = 'This deal is so bad we said we previously said we'd resign over it'
    Scottish Leave Tories = 'This deal is a complete betrayal!'

    Kinda makes you hope it gets passed in Westminster. It's certainly uniting Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not me you Nat si traitorous EU erse lickin bum boy. What does Barnier's balls taste like?

      Delete
    2. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its utter confusion.
      Poor, tormented, miserable Cordelia.
      So much impotent rage.
      So very funny.

      Delete
    3. I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy.
      Yankee Doodle do or die.
      A real live nephew of my uncle Sam. Born on the fifth of July.

      Delete
    4. Wrong blog, Jennifer.

      Delete
    5. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its utter confusion.
      Poor, tormented, miserable Cordelia.
      So much impotent rage.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  15. Scotland topline voting intention figures (change vs 2017 GE results)
    #SNP 40% (+3) Con 27% (-2) Lab 23% (-4) Lib Dem 7% (NC) UKIP 1% (+1) Green 1% (+1) Other 1% (+1)
    #survation

    ReplyDelete