Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The reason why nobody can agree on what Theresa May just said is that she said everything and nothing simultaneously

I now understand why Tory MPs come out of meetings with Theresa May and can't agree on what she said, because her statement tonight was full of ambiguities and half-contradictions, and everyone is remembering only the bits they want to remember.  For instance...

* She said that a further Article 50 extension would have to be very short, and any solution agreed would have to be legislated for by 22nd May to avoid holding European elections.  But she also said the extension should last until a deal has been passed.  So will the request be for an open-ended extension, or another very short cliff-edge extension?  If the EU rejects the 22nd May deadline, is she saying she would accept a longer extension?  And if the answer to the latter question is "no" or "don't know", how can anyone say that No Deal has been ruled out?

* She said that if she and Corbyn can't agree on a specific blueprint, they'll instead try to agree on a range of options to be put before parliament.  She also said that she would abide by any decision parliament makes.  But is she only committing to accepting parliament's wishes if they're expressed during the government's own proposed process, or does the promise also apply to go-it-alone initiatives by the Commons, such as Letwin's indicative votes?

My speculation last night about a general election on 23rd May didn't survive long, because there won't be enough time for that after May has tried this latest approach.  But one thing that was clear from her statement is that any agreement with Corbyn would have to be a bolt-on to the existing withdrawal agreement. And the DUP have already stated that if the withdrawal agreement is passed with the backstop intact, they will withdraw support for the government.  So whichever way Brexit is heading, it's hard to see how an election can be long delayed.


  1. Apparently the Tories had a polling presentation which pretty much ruled out a general election from their point of view.


    1. It's Gordon Brown all over again. Except that Gordon Brown was in a position to make a free choice.

    2. At least Gordon Brown saved the World from the Capitalist economic recession and we wait for the next one and who to blame then the next one to follow. But the Scottish Nat sis have the answer. AYE.

    3. At least Gordon Brown saved 17p on a box of Special K for him and his lady wife.

    4. He used tae walk 500 miles tae get a penny rebate oan his Coop mulk bottle.

    5. Always fun watching Cordelia's personalities arguing among themselves.

  2. https://politics.co.uk/blogs/2019/04/02/no-10-statement-look-out-for-theresa-may-s-no-deal-trap

    Ian Dunt on why this is more likely than not another attempt by May to trap Parliament in a choice between her deal and no deal

    1. That's the thing though, it is her deal, no deal, or stay in.

      There is only one withdrawal agreement and that's not up for negotiation. The UK leaves with it, leaves without it, or doesn't leave at all.

      As for the new relationship, well that's all up for negotiation post-withdrawal (legally members cannot negotiate new bilateral trade deals from within the EU for obvious reasons). In the current deal, all we'll have is a political declaration of intent for the new relationship; it has no legal weight.

      So, for example Corbyn's customs union idea is political declaration only; that's not part of the withdrawal agreement. He seems stupid enough to think otherwise (or is trying to fool the electorate, which is just as bad), but it's not the case.

      So, EEA single market, customs union, free movement, Canda+....'deal that you still have to make even if leave without a withdrawal agreement deal'... all has to be negotiated afterwards.

      The EEA...customs union etc is not the UK's choice; our neighbours could say no (but are unlikely to unless the UK keeps on being a total erse).

      So it really comes down to the backstop. That must be accepted or the UK has to stay in the EEA/single market and customs union with full free movement. If it leaves, it must accept the backstop which keeps N. Ireland in all those things under international law (on pain of sanctions, military intervention etc to ensure the UN peace deal is adhered to). If it leaves with 'no (withdrawal) deal', the backstop (and monies owed to our EU neighbours etc) remains on the table and it will never have any sort of deal with anyone (due to EU sanctions / pressure) if it doesn't implement the backstop.

      So, short of becoming a pariah state, the UK has to stay in or exit and start to break up, with N. Ireland entering an initial reunification process. If that happens, Scotland will enter the same process (if it's not gone already). If N. Ireland and Scotland leave the UK, there's no UK and Wales will probably start getting restless.

      So the choices are 'Stay in and maybe stay together', 'leave and break up, most likely fully'.

      Devolution & the GFA started the process of disintegration. It's too far gone to reverse these, but they are wholly incompatible with a non-EEA brexit. To leave the EEA you need to reverse them as England needs to negotiate new trade deals, which means 'taking back control' of devolved parliaments, overruling 1997 referendums. And it matters not whether it's Tory or labour in power; both need to crush devolution to negotiate new trade deals.

      This massive crisis was warned about, but people didn't listen. It's only just warming up.


      British withdrawal from the EU: an existential threat to the United Kingdom?

    2. Nobody read all that. Nobody.

    3. If no one read it, I'm sure someone will enlighten us on how it got written...

    4. Your about as clever as a cup of milk.

    5. But you, dearie, are as bitter as a cup of lemon juice.

    6. Namby pamby piddling pie.
      Pee in a bucket until you cry.
      Hahahaha hahaha.