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How Brexit Will End | The New Yorker
Brexit is an uncanny political process because it is an inversion of the way that things were supposed to go. The world was becoming only more connected; money and people flowed. Europe was leading the experiment. And then a population said no. In 2016, Remainers tended to make economic arguments for staying in the E.U., while Leavers spoke about sovereignty and the health of the nation. In truth, it was a matter of instinct for both sides: were you prepared to go on sharing your agency with international forces of unimaginable scale, or did you believe that an old country could somehow reassert itself and claw out its own domain? The question was more philosophical than real. Being a member of the E.U. cost less than two per cent of Britain’s national budget. Most of us did not care. But, once the question was asked, it became fundamental, and the prelude to every future question. Choosing Brexit meant that we would diverge. We would diverge from Europe, and we would diverge from one another.
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15 days ago by petej
Don't buy the hype: Boris Johnson's Brexit deal did not win approval | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian
What does it mean? First, don’t fall for the hype that says that tonight parliament approved Johnson’s deal. It did not. MPs simply voted for it to receive a second reading, some of them motivated by the desire not to endorse it but to amend it. As Labour’s Gloria de Piero confessed, she voted yes, “not because I support the deal but because I don’t”. That 30-vote majority will include MPs who wanted to propose UK membership of a customs union, others keen on conditioning the deal on public support in a confirmatory referendum. Screen out the Tory spin: those MPs should not be counted as backers of the deal.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  withdrawalAgreement  WAB  timetable  JohnsonBoris  HouseOfCommons  DUP  DePieroGloria  scrutiny  generalElection  dctagged  dc:creator=FreedlandJonathan 
20 days ago by petej
Huge problems storing up for the govt this week: Plan is to bring MV back tomorrow. Think almost certain not to happen as Speaker will rule out of order as (i) same issue twice (ii) contradicts Letwin amendment which says Brexit related legislation must b
There is a common misconception that the govt pulled the vote on Saturday. They did not. They just didn't bring the motion as amended to a division. It went through on the nod. The House decided something. I.e. Letwin, that there is no deal until WAB passes. That is big.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  meaningfulVote  JohnsonBoris  politics  HouseOfCommons  LetwinOliver  BercowJohn  amendments  referendum  customsUnion  dctagged  dc:creator=GoodallLewis 
22 days ago by petej
Boris Johnson knows exactly what he's doing when he talks about Jo Cox and Surrender Bills
So when he tells Paula Sherriff, a Labour MP who has faced serious death threats, that her request that he moderate his language is “humbug”, it’s not because he’s ignorant, or because he hasn’t fully absorbed the consequence of what he’s doing. He knows, too, that his behaviour makes it less likely that Labour MPs will vote for the deal, meaning that his only path to deliver Brexit is an election campaign in which he pumps yet more vitriol into the public bloodstream.

And why wouldn’t he? He knows, too, that criticism of him in the organs of the press that really matter will be couched in the language of “both sides”, and that ultimately, whether it works out for him, politically, there will always be close protection officers. It’ll always be someone else’s death threat, just as it is always somebody else’s restaurant, somebody else’s partner, somebody else’s child, and perhaps, if it goes wrong enough, somebody else’s country.
UK  politics  JohnsonBoris  HouseOfCommons  SupremeCourt  prorogation  generalElection  populism  polarisation  CoxJo  language  discourse  violence  Brexit  privilege  media  dctagged  dc:creator=BushStephen  provocation 
6 weeks ago by petej
Hero or villain? Bercow’s notoriety is a consequence of parliament’s crisis – not its cause | James Butler | Opinion | The Guardian
The Speaker’s rulings are a consequence, not a cause, of the political impasse – the unavoidable effect of a conflict between legislature and executive eagerly pursued by successive governments. Small majorities or minority governments – as much the result of a democratic process as the referendum – find their rebels empowered; if any such government treats parliament as a truculent inconvenience, it will find MPs ready to humble it. Bercow’s instinct to empower parliament is real and consistent – though he delights in making enemies – but his “constitutional vandalism” is unlikely to trouble any government with a majority. Whatever the tabloids claim, this government’s inability to win a vote is its fault, and its fault alone.

The competition to replace Bercow is already under way. Some candidates, such as Labour’s Chris Bryant, promise a return to procedural orthodoxy: umpire-like impartiality, slavish adherence to the rulebook. Yet it is hard to see how any candidate could avoid controversy in a restive, finely balanced parliament with an executive determined to test the limits of its power and a legislature impatient with abuse.

Brexit has seen the withering of many parliamentary delusions: the strictures of convention, the stability of the parties, the reliability of the “good chap” theory of office. Bercow’s pugnacious defence of the legislature is a boon, but he must realise that reform conducted solely through the Speaker’s chair also tests democratic legitimacy; such a realisation must be behind his embrace, in last night’s lecture, of a more codified constitutional settlement. As the legal case over prorogation waits to be heard by the supreme court next week, and the looming Brexit deadline leaves the government scrambling for political safety, Bercow’s final act remains yet to be played. It is certain to be a stormy one.
UK  politics  BercowJohn  HouseOfCommons  retirement  democracy  executive  legislature  Speaker  neutrality  accountability  MPs  reform  controversy  impartiality  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
8 weeks ago by petej
It is parliament’s duty to resist Johnson’s dangerous no-deal Brexit strategy | Dominic Grieve | Opinion | The Guardian
There will not be the parliament v the people election the prime minister seems so desperately to want, despite the highly irresponsible nature of such framing. When one does come, it needs to be focused on sensible options as to how we get ourselves out of the mess and division that Brexit is creating for us all.

It is noteworthy that my mailbag suggests the public understands the issues very well. The Yellowhammer revelations of the consequences of no deal cannot be ignored. The realisation has also come that a no-deal Brexit is the start of a long and wearying journey to find a new trade deal with the EU from a position of maximum disadvantage and not some glorious moment of national self-assertion.

I start the new week therefore with quiet optimism. We have at last a powerful coalition for moderation. The prime minister and his advisers are going to find it rather difficult to knock it down. They would do better to focus on finding a way of going back to the public and asking them what they now want and uniting parliament to deliver it. This would be a genuine exercise in democracy. Seeking to impose their own minority views on our country in the way they are is not acceptable and must be resisted.
UK  EU  Brexit  noDeal  JohnsonBoris  legislation  Article50  extension  HouseOfCommons  democracy  constitution  dctagged  dc:creator=GrieveDominic  BennAct 
9 weeks ago by petej
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