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Plan B? What Plan B? July 8, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Speaking to someone with a good working knowledge of matters relating to the Border and CTA their attitude was that if an ROI government came out with the line it hadn’t prepared contingency plans for something equivalent to a Brexit they’d be hauled over the coals by the electorate and political forces in the state. I think that’s probably correct – at the least they’d get a roasting, whereas there appears to be a wider gulf between government and the expectations of government in the UK that perhaps is a consequence of larger populations, first past the post and such like. Or perhaps the fact Cameron fell on his sword and it has been quick sharp on to the Tory leadership election that has deflected such criticism. But then, then, Osborne remains as Chancellor as of today and he appears to be evading responsibility in an almost uncanny way.

Anyhow it really is unconscionable that such a fundamentally important decision to the United Kingdom was made in what appears to be a near vacuum as regards preparation. Now this isn’t to say that some plans don’t exist somewhere, but rather that there’s been no clear path forward. Instead the sense of London standing back as the Tory party leadership process kicked into gear is very strong. It genuinely appears to be a case of state being second to party.

Of course what it also implies is a completely incorrect belief that the referendum would be won by Cameron (and this, by the way appears to have been the belief held far and wide). But one doesn’t function as a state on the assumption that matters will proceed the way one wishes (or covertly wishes as appears to have been the case for at least some on the Leave side).

Just on that, albeit from a tangent, what’s the bets on the UK running ‘advisory’ referendums in the future? I imagine they’ll be avoided like the plague if at all possible.

Comments»

1. Michael Carley - July 8, 2016

Just on that, albeit from a tangent, what’s the bets on the UK running ‘advisory’ referendums in the future? I imagine they’ll be avoided like the plague if at all possible.

To some degree they’re in this position because nobody knows what the status of a referendum is, because there is no constitution. Is a referendum binding, and if it is, who does it bind, and what does it change?

We now have people who argued for the UK to reclaim its `sovereignty’ getting a shock when they discover where authority lies in a monarchy or a `parliamentary democracy’.

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sonofstan - July 8, 2016

There is a certain ‘irony’ in British people complaining about the undemocratic EU, given a heriditary head of state, who must be a member of a specific faith, a partly heriditary upper chamber, with reserved seats for clerics of the state church, and a lower house elected according to a very unrepresentative voting system. Not claiming the EU is democratic, but it’s probably a little more so than that.

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benmadigan - July 8, 2016

I suppose it “binds” the government- After all the PM asked the country “what do you want?” and they told him.

Britain’s present difficulty lies in squaring the Brexit opinion as espressed by direct democracy with the Remain opinion as expressed by representational democracy i.e. the majority in parliament

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RosencrantzisDead - July 8, 2016

No Constitution?!

“We Englishmen are Very Proud of our Constitution, Sir. It Was Bestowed Upon Us By Providence. No Other Country is so
Favoured as This Country.”

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2. Joe - July 8, 2016

Maybe a Border Poll would be the test for the RoI government. If and when the next Border Poll is held, would the RoI government have a Plan B in place?

Plan A (for when the result is majority Yes, Keep the Border): Sigh of relief. Carry on.
Plan B (for when the result is majority No, Scrap the Border): Shit ourselves.

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gendjinn - July 8, 2016

I think you’ve adequately described the sum total of plan B preparation that would be taken.

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3. Roger Cole - July 8, 2016

When the people in the Republic of Ireland voted to reject the Lisbon Treaty, the then Leader of the Irish Labour Party Eamon Gilmore said in public that the vote of the people had to be respected while at the same time telling the US Ambassador the exact opposite. Is the same happening again? Will the democratic vote of the British people to leave the emerging European Empire and its Battlegroups, its European Defence Agency, Common Foreign & Defence policy etc be reversed by the UK House of Parliament or by forcing them to vote again and again until they come up with the right answer?
Any bets?

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benmadigan - July 8, 2016

the brexit vote – david cameron has already kicked it into the long grass.

I suspect it will stay there –

There are already rumours about waiting until after the French presidential elections in April-May 2017 and the Bundestag election which will happen sometime August – October 2017. After all, “there’s no point in starting talks with people who may be replaced”

Will the EU accept the delays and uncertainty? or will they be happy to have all the negotiations and repercussions kicked into the long grass?

I suppose Enda will be

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4. dublinstreams - July 8, 2016

this is what he said “It was not the responsibility of those that wanted to remain what plan to follow,” Osborne said. “We have contingency plans for financial stability for Brexit, that is why the banks are secure. We spent a long time preparing that.” http://www.politico.eu/article/george-osborne-brexit-plan-not-our-responsibility-chancellor/

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WorldbyStorm - July 9, 2016

Well, that’s true but that is essentially what is said in the OP, and to take but one example look at the numbers in the UK civil service tasked with trade deals etc. Far far too low given what now faces them. I think any serious government approach has to factor in more than financial stability and be prepared for the outcome of a vote whether Remain or Leave and have broad plans in place in regard to both (which isn’t contingent on what those who ‘remain’ wanted). After all, it was the government that pushed forward the referendum. And one should have at least some answers for both a Remain and Leave situation.

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5. Phil - July 8, 2016

One of the earlier attempts to head off the demand for a referendum, in 2011, was an Act of Parliament which created the requirement for a referendum if the UK’s obligations to the EU ever change. If this is still in force when we come to negotiate our new (EEA plus? EEA minus?) relationship with the 27, a referendum will presumably be required to ratify that – with the real possibility that the deal gets chucked out and we end up in sordid isolation. Wish us luck.

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WorldbyStorm - July 9, 2016

Wow, that I didn’t realise. Is it still in effect?

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Phil - July 9, 2016

Yes – although the latest legal opinion I’ve read says that it *wouldn’t* apply, as it only covers relations between the EU and the UK in its role as a member state. Interesting, though.

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