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The illusion of activity January 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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The latest vote in the House of Commons seems to signify some sort of activity – but as Richard North has noted many times far too often what takes place there has no relevance to the larger forces at work and is indeed diversionary. This from RTÉ gives a sober assessment of what is actually feasible after:

…British MPs gave their backing to proposals to replace the controversial Irish backstop in Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, here’s a look at what could happen next in the Brexit saga.

But as this notes:

Downing Street has said Mrs May was looking at three options: for the backstop to have a time limit, for the UK to have a unilateral exit mechanism, or for a third, the so called Max Fax option which would use technology to minimise checks on the Irish border.

The EU has already rejected all three ideas.

North suggests that this may be a long game on May’s part whereby she yet again goes through the motions, ticking off option after option as unworkable to allow her to finally point to her initial deal as the only one with any traction. As he says, what has she to lose?

Comments»

1. makedoanmend - January 30, 2019

There are supposed to be 3 options that May wants to explore regarding the backstop.

If I were the EU negotiating team, I would have PM May meet with a very minor functionary who has before her/him highlighted relevant minutes of past negotiation meetings where all 3 of her so-called options have been rejected. That’s it. Enough. Negotiations are done. Time to prepare.

That one country thinks it can continue with what can only now be described as an internal parliamentary pantomime masquerading as a decision making body that routinely reneges on past agreements and essentially wants to dictate terms to a union of 27 other countries is beyond farce and self-delusion.

With <60 days left, these muppets are still playing internal party politics. It staggers the mind.

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2019

It’s all that – I’m at a loss as to how things proceed from this point

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2. Joe - January 30, 2019

On the face of it now, it looks like the original deal or no deal.
And surely it would be impossible for May to overturn the 225 vote majority against the original deal. Or would it? Some might change their votes as the deadline approaches and they see the horror of no deal up close. But surely not enough will change on that basis to give May a majority. Some others might change their vote is they had the cover of some cosmetic change or addition or some form of words, which doesn’t in reality change the deal, but which they can point to as ‘a victory’ enabling them to change their vote. Can the UK and the EU come up with a fudge of some kind that could make this happen? Does the EU even want to bother going there given how badly it feels the UK has behaved up to now? The EU might be tempted to go there to try one (second) last time to avoid a no deal. Apparently, neither the EU nor the UK government want a no deal. Apparently.

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2019

Agreed, and given who is voting does any ‘victory’ give sufficient cover anyhow?

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Joe - January 30, 2019

Yep. Hard to see it happening.

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GW - January 30, 2019

Yes – there are effectively two options, if you exclude the possibility of a general election in the UK, which I can’t see happening this side of Brexit. The DUP and the Tories won’t risk that.

The fact that no deal is not wished for is irrelevant if the UK and the EU can’t agree on a deal. The UK leaves the EU by law on the 29th March this year.

There is a third option, however, and IMO increasingly likely, which is that the UK crashes out and the EU makes it clear that the withdrawal agreement is still an option, provided the UK pays that back-dues. Even better they could make it clear that re-entry with relatively little ceremony is a possibility of the UK, which further increases the political pressure.

Or to twist the screw a little, offer an independent Scotland accelerated entry.

Give the UK six months to stew in the political and economic consequences of no deal and they may well want to take up the offer of the withdrawal agreement. Or they may want to hold and election and a Labour/SNP coalition may want to take it up.

It will of course be a dangerous period for the island of Ireland.

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3. makedoanmend - January 30, 2019

“Brexit Minister Unable to Say What Alternative to Irish Backstop Is”

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/brexit-minister-unable-to-say-what-alternative-to-irish-backstop-is-1.3775749

“…In Dublin, the Government issued a terse statement: “The EU position on the withdrawal agreement, including the backstop, is set out in the conclusions of the December meeting of the European Council. It has not changed.”

It said that the administration would “continue our preparations for all outcomes, including for a no-deal scenario.”

European Council President Donald Tusk said the withdrawal agreement “remains the best and only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal”. In a statement issued on his behalf, he said: “The backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement, and the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation.””

So the British want to re-re-re-negotiate the backstop but don’t have any acceptable alternative except for proposals which the EU negotiating team have said time and again are either fairy dust (technology solution) stuff or harm the customs union or the GFA or both.

The UK political establishment is acting as if their departure is basically a domestic issue, and blithely ignore or treat as irrelevant any affect their actions are having on others – except when an effect can be used as a bargaining tool. They have been selfish and their selfishness has been indulged. Why? I can only surmise it is do to optics and PR. The EU doesn’t want to be seen as a bully. Maybe because it bullied Greece and they see the damage to the image of the EU that has caused? I also suppose that the EU would like to see an orderly exit as opposed to the dungfest that is about to occur.

The UK have always acted as if their decisions are basically unilateral (referendum, 2+ yrs of negotiations, and acceptance of the treaty that they themselves have negotiated). It’s <60 days before departure and they still indulge themselves. Can the EU afford to waste more time and effort to indulge the UK, or should everything be geared towards mitigation?

You have to ask yourself that if all parties have spent 2 years thinking about and negotiating all aspects of the proposed treaty, what is going to change in the next 2 mos? Beyond the UK playing chicken, has anything concrete changed about the border and proposed backstop?

From what I'm reading and hearing in Germany, the Germans have basically started a post-mortem, so to speak, to try to understand just how poorly the UK handled the entire situation, and why?

The French have seemed resigned to the consequences for quite some time, and domestic concerns have overwhelmed any thoughts of Brexit. Marcon is so self absorbed that he doesn't seem to waste time on it.

At some point, the EU and every government in it has to think that they have been lead on a merry goose chase to simply satisfy the UK government's domestic issues, including indulging a UK party whose impetus is so narrowly focused that it, as much if not more, has had undue influence on the entire process and the outcome.

Hardly the stuff of hope.

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4. CL - January 30, 2019

“The Good Friday Agreement is about to be deployed in a last-ditch bid to keep Brexit on track.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is working on an audacious plan to maneuver the EU into giving legally binding guarantees on the Irish border post Brexit that she hopes will persuade her Democratic Unionist Party backers to support her Brexit deal….
Her bold gambit is to use one of the EU’s staunchest arguments — the need for an “all-weather” Northern Ireland backstop to preserve the Good Friday Agreement — against it. It follows accusations from DUP MPs and other leading unionists that the backstop itself contradicts the very historic peace agreement that it is designed to protect…
In a policy paper for Policy Exchange published Sunday, Paul Bew, a former adviser to the Nobel Peace Prize-winning unionist leader David Trimble, called on the U.K. government to get on the front foot over the Good Friday Agreement, accusing Dublin of “weaponizing” the accord.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/mays-brexit-assault-will-target-backstops-threat-to-peace-dup-theresa-may-good-friday-agreement/

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5. makedoanmend - January 30, 2019

This is a quote from a US site that has been pretty good on it coverage of Brexit – especially the legal and functional aspects.

The author’s view is that this latest wheeze is basically a delaying tactic.

“…I have been saying for some time … that the crisis will hit no sooner than mid-February. That is when MPs will no longer be able to pretend that they have options besides the ones May set forth when she brought her deal back in November: her deal, no deal, or no Brexit.

And by mid-February, it’s too late to toss May out without guaranteeing a no deal departure. Remember there are 14 calendar days for Parliament to reverse itself and pass a confidence motion. Otherwise, the general election process starts, and that’s a minimum of 25 business days. There would be no Government to push through amending the Withdrawal Act to remove its hard coding of the Brexit date. Any MP can nix a private bill (one not sponsored by the Government) and you can be sure an Ultra would do that. And even though the EU has said it would allow the UK to push back the Brexit date in the event of a general election, the UK, meaning the Government, has to ask formally. Can it so so procedurally after a no confidence vote? Keep in mind that the Ultras would do everything in their power to jam the controls and assure a no deal…

In a few weeks, we’ll have a better sense if sentiment is moving towards May’s deal or no deal. And remember, more denial and squabbling over unicorns increases the odds of no deal.”

Given what CL has written above, it would appear that the border issue, always nearly irreconcilable given the constraints of the GFA and the customs union, is now being weaponised by those who accuse the Republic of weaponising it. Ivan Rogers reported early in these negotiations that the adverse affects Brexit could have on Ireland was a source of leverage for the UK.

It seems the blame game is afoot. I also wonder if at this stage, and if a crash out occurs, that the possible rancour between the EU and UK won’t be elevated to heights that nobody imagined previously?

I suppose there might be some brilliant solution. Hasn’t happened in 2 years. But there’s always hope. <60 days to hope.

And there's a time to prepare.

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6. GW - January 30, 2019

Damn – just commented on a thread mentioning the climate change denier.

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2019

Apologies, it’s a pain and as with the other post I do try to couch any references with the necessary caveats.

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7. makedoanmend - January 30, 2019

1. I thought this (and I hate the source, but needs must..) which indicates the layers and development of complexity that has evolved as the UK government dithers on a course of action.

Brexit: Tory Minister Richard Harrington Issues Two-week Ultimatum to Theresa May

“We will give her two weeks. But that is it”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/brexit-tory-minister-richard-harrington-13921436

“Business Minister Richard Harrington warned the patience of Tories opposed to No Deal on March 29 was running out.

In an incredible statement by a serving member of the government, he snapped: “We will give her two weeks. But that is it.”

The public statement is highly unusual and shows the extent to which discipline has broken down in the Tory government over Brexit.

Mr Harrington has made repeated threats before, warning No Deal could shut Jaguar and Mini, calling No Deal a “complete disaster” and effectively daring Theresa May to sack him.”

Finally, the business community wakes up and demands no crash out, but the Ultras (including the DUP) want whatever they want. Nobody wants a hard border in Ireland, but you cannot have a customs union without borders.

(And it should be noted that the EU did provide some concessions to certain economic sectors of the UK with regard to all EU borders.)

2. The current situation isn’t exactly unanticipated by the EU:

From politico (17/12/2018):

“May could have known better: Between the end of the regular EU summit and the start of a euro summit on Friday, she gathered a small group of EU super-influencers, according to three diplomats working for the participants. Tusk, Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte quizzed May on the question she hadn’t been able to answer the night before: How exactly would she use the outcome of the summit to get the Withdrawal Agreement through parliament back home?

“There was no plan,” said one diplomat briefed on the discussion. May, in the meeting, informed the EU’s most powerful people that she simply needed more, saying her parliament “doesn’t trust the EU.”

The meeting left some convinced that what the British PM really wants is not an even more solemn declaration of the EU’s wish to have a trade agreement in place as soon as possible, but to get rid of the backstop altogether. It’s not surprising that she would want this — but it’s also the only option the EU has excluded out of hand since the provisional deal struck in December of last year. All 27 leaders also delivered the same univocal message at the summit: The deal, backstop included, will not be reopened. That May brought it up again, according to one diplomat, has damaged the EU’s trust in her.”

https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/brussels-playbook/politico-brussels-playbook-presented-by-bayer-the-brexit-road-ahead-leaders-clinch-cop24-deal-end-of-europe-as-we-know-it/?utm_source=POLITICO.EU&utm_campaign=e3ed17e5cf-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_30_05_51&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_10959edeb5-e3ed17e5cf-189891945

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2019

Wouldn’t you think Harrington would be sacked in any other context at all?

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8. FergusD - January 30, 2019

It has been clear for some time it is the WA agreement, as it is, or crash out. Those asking for an election or second referendum were chasing their own unicorns. So what will Corbyn do? Has has fudged all along, now he, and the BLP will have to decide. They cannot vote against the WA just to hurt May any more. WA or crash out. If May get’s it through will the voters see her as a hero? Will anyone have a clue what Labour’s position was?

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2019

It does make life harder for Corbyn, definitely.

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WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2019

Then again reading that:

“Jeremy Corbyn says he discussed “various issues surrounding the problems of the back stop” in his meeting with Theresa May this afternoon and that the prime minister will speak with the EU about these concerns.

During the 45-minute conversation, the Labour leader told May that under her proposals the UK would enter into a treaty arrangement without the right to leave it for the first time in the country’s history. “I have a problem where we go into an agreement which is one sided, I want an agreement which is mutual,” he said.”

For some reason I’m not filled with confidence.

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GW - January 31, 2019

I’m loosing my patience with Milne-ite British Labour. There is nothing one-sided about it, the backstop is mutual – both parties have to agree to end it. And can do so when it becomes unnecessary through either:

a) A customs and single market regulated unified common area on the island of Ireland or

b) The same in the context of Ireland, the EU and the whole of the UK.

WTF is Milne about – is he now looking to go into coalition with the DUP?

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WorldbyStorm - January 31, 2019

That strand of Labour clearly doesn’t give a toss about Ireland and seems oddly comfortable with crash out scenarios

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makedoanmend - January 31, 2019

I don’t know if you covered it in your points GW, but if there is no trade treaty negotiated after a certain period, the entire backstop goes to arbitration. Far too many in the UK, and a few of the usual people in Ireland, like to claim that the backstop is being unilaterally imposed indefinitely upon UK by the EU bully.

(On another note, I came across a person pretty clued up on Brexit but they still didn’t realise that the UK government had formally signed the Withdraw Treaty with the EU. They were astounded that PM May had the audacity to ask her own government to essentially reject the formal treaty her government had negotiated when she backed the Brady amendment. Equal parts brass neck and surrealism.

And people wonder why the EU is getting just a tad angry with May and the entire UK political establishment.)

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CL - January 31, 2019

” Nothing assures the Irish government that its refusal to budge and take the promises on their word is justified more than statements like Corbyn’s….
Labour MPs often argue that this Tory Brexit is jeopardising Northern Ireland’s stability. The uncomfortable truth is that plenty of people are saying the same about what the debate over the backstop has done to their leader.”
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2019/01/jeremy-corbyns-opposition-irish-backstop-needlessly-damaging-labour

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GW - January 31, 2019

CL – yes – I get the feeling that decisions at the anti-democratic centralist level of the Milneite Labour Party are made by people who imagine themselves to be clever tacticians but have a cloth ear for the wider world and even their own members, and a disregard for any kind of consistency.

Another symptom of post-imperial solipsism, perhaps, but this time from the Morning Star angle.

The Corbyn statement on the backstop is the second instance in so many days – the first was the u-turn going from abstaining from opposing May’s vicious anti-immigration bill to a half-hearted semi-whipping to oppose it.

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - January 31, 2019

It would not surprise me at all that Labour’s grey eminence is being briefed by Tony Coughlan (directly or indirectly) and believing that the impetus of Irish Sea trade and border crisis will turn Ireland’s 6 % Irexit minority into a 51% majority, thus solving the troubles in Britain’s favour.

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GW - January 31, 2019

Robert Peston on the Milne/Murphy/Corbyn/May (in that order) meeting:

Almost more interesting than what Corbyn and the PM said to each other this afternoon was who accompanied the Labour leader to the meeting.

He was joined by his chief of staff Karie Murphy and his director of strategy Seumas Milne (as well as the chief whip Nick Brown) but not by his Brexit secretary Keir Starmer.

Why does that matter?

In the battle over whether Labour should ever back a Brexit referendum or People’s Vote, Murphy and Milne are implacably opposed, and Starmer is battling to keep that option alive.

So it matters that in choosing to explain what kind of Brexit deal Labour would support, Corbyn was accompanied by the two influential aides who are convinced that Labour should deliver Brexit and not ask the views of the people again.

This was a signal, his colleagues say, of Corbyn’s own clear preference to avoid another referendum.

What also matters is that Corbyn felt – I am told – that the meeting was more than a going through the motions, that the Prime Minister genuinely listened and probed, as he and his colleagues outlined their plan for membership of the customs union, partial membership of the EU’s single market, and further protections for workers’ rights.

In terms of the technical nitty gritty, Corbyn and team said they wanted dynamic alignment with the EU on employment regulations – as opposed to the standstill written into the so-called backstop – and non-regression or a standstill on state aid rules.

This seems to me all of a piece with a pincer movement by Milne and Murphy with Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, to try to engineer a Brexit deal before 29 March that Labour could officially fall in behind – since McCluskey too, who is close to Corbyn, is set against a referendum.

McCluskey, for example, on Monday met the business secretary Greg Clark – who as it happens is on my show tonight – to discuss legislation to protect and extend workers’ right after Brexit.

And tomorrow more junior officials from Unite, the TUC, the GMB and Unison will meet Sarah Healey, the director of economic and domestic affairs at the Cabinet Office and Chris Thompson from the business department to take the agenda forward on what the government can do to secure trade union support for Brexit.

For what it’s worth, my understanding is that Corbyn sees the failure to secure a majority yesterday of the Cooper and Grieve motions – and Labour’s own one, which explicitly mentions the possibility of a referendum – as proof that MPs really don’t want a People’s Vote.

Even more striking is that those close to Labour’s leader tell me they can indeed envisage a moment in the coming weeks when it will be official Labour policy to vote for a Brexit plan.

Those at the top of Labour, and in the grassroots, who want a referendum should fear they are being properly outmanoeuvred.

Source can be found on Peston’s Surveillance-Book page – I refuse to link it here.

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GW - January 31, 2019

Anti-democratic centralism to frustrate the majority of the British Labour Party membership and the majority of the British citizenry (sorry – that should be subjectry – I always forget herself).

If it succeeds the fruits will be harvested at the next UK election.

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GW - January 31, 2019

It is a really gob-smacking decision to exclude the Shadow Brexit Secretary from such a meeting, now I think of it.

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CL - January 31, 2019

” Plus the Times reports that Downing Street is considering cash injections into seats with Labour MPs who might contemplate voting for the deal.”
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/brexit/2019/01/theresa-may-brexit-deal-money-labour-mps-but-support

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CL - January 31, 2019

“one could be forgiven for wondering whether Mr Corbyn privately thinks the best outcome from his point of view would be for Mrs May’s deal to pass with the support of a few dozen Labour rebels….
This would be a Tory Brexit that he personally opposed. The Conservatives would take all the blame for any subsequent economic damage. The country could move on to the debates on social and economic justice where he feels stronger.”
https://www.ft.com/content/8960c5fe-2555-11e9-b329-c7e6ceb5ffdf

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Joe - January 31, 2019

GW: “to frustrate the majority of the British Labour Party membership and the majority of the British citizenry (sorry – that should be subjectry – I always forget herself).

If it succeeds the fruits will be harvested at the next UK election.”

I dunno, there’s so much in all this it’s hard to know where to start. The Labour Party appears to be as riven as the Tories on the whole Brexit thing.
But just on the above – the majority of the British subjectry voted for Brexit. We may not like it but they did. And that, unless there’s another vote, is the only poll that counts.
And, remember before their last GE, the UK media were scathing about Jez, making out he was the worst Labour leader in history, totally barmy and also a useless media performer and Labour was set for the worst election result in its history. Except they weren’t.
I predict here and now that Jez will win the next UK GE and then we’ll see how good he is at socialism in one country.
Last thought, whatever happened to the love affair between our SF and Jez’s Labour. Has he blocked Mary Lou’s number?

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GW - January 31, 2019

Might happen Joe, who knows.

The difference with 2017 and a likely future election should Milne get his way, is that then the Labour Leadership had not disappointed its activists and voters on B*shit.

Like it or not the question “How much did you facilitate Brexit?” is likely to be the defining one politics, should it come to pass, for a decade at least, in the UK and RoI. It’s a culture war that’s already started and isn’t going to go away.

I don’t think the polls are a full 12% out on the current opinion about B*shit.

For SF’s position, see below.

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9. CL - January 30, 2019

The options have been narrowed; an election or a referendum as a way of resolving the impasse are off the table, it seems.
Succumbing to Erg/Dup atavism, the prime minister is now opposed to May’s deal and is going to Brussels to chase moonbeams, but the choice is now straightforward: May’s deal or a crash-out.
Corbyn may be forced to act like a politician and make a choice.

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10. CL - January 30, 2019

Small cracks.

“But in Berlin some senior politicians said the EU’s line was too uncompromising. Detlef Seif, an MP for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, who is the party’s pointman on Brexit, said the “knee-jerk rejection of new negotiations” on the withdrawal agreement was “irresponsible”, adding: “There is too much at risk.”…

“If the EU now sticks to the proposed backstop without offering any compromises, this will lead to an outcome that all sides want to avoid the most, namely a hard border in Ireland and huge risks for the northern Irish peace process,” he said. “We can’t allow that.”

“Obstinacy is not European,” said Alexander Dobrindt, leader of the parliamentary group of the CSU, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, urging the commission to be flexible.
https://www.ft.com/content/20e26db2-24af-11e9-8ce6-5db4543da632

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GW - January 31, 2019

Dobrindt is what they call here a ‘Volltrottel’ – and therefore much loved in the CSU. Fully owned subsidiary of the German car industry and Deutsche Telekom.

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11. GW - January 31, 2019

Current polling on a replay of the 2016 referendum from Survation:

Vote in a referendum tomorrow (change vs 2016 EU Referendum results)

Leave: 46% (-6)

Remain: 54% (+6)

and:

England and Wales flip

Our research also shows that England and Wales – the only nations of the UK in which a majority voted Leave in the EU Referendum both with 53%, would now both vote Remain. 47% would vote Leave in a new referendum in England, an unrounded change of 6.6% and 45% in Wales, an unrounded change of 7.5%.

Which suggests that both the Tories and British Labour are pursuing a course that’s against the will of a majority of UK citizens right now.

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12. GW - January 31, 2019

Jacobin Mag have gone full Spiked on Brexshit.

Are they also taking the Koch Bros shilling?

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Pasionario - January 31, 2019

There’s a magnificent irony in that article when Gourevitch, whoever he is, uses the example of Ireland re-running referendums to castigate the EU as undemocratic, then makes no mention of how the Irish people might feel about having our island torn up by a no-deal Brexit.

By the way, where’s Boyd-Barrett, McCann, Murphy, and Coppinger these days? Are they still backing Brexit?

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GW - February 1, 2019

I guess yes, but they are keeping quiet about it.

Let the ERG and the DUP do the dirty work.

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13. GW - January 31, 2019

Joint statement of the pro-Remain parties in the North on Brexit:

“We believe that while the Withdrawal Agreement is imperfect, it will mitigate against a bad Brexit which is being imposed against the democratic will of a majority of citizens here who decisively voted to Remain within the European Union.

“We believe that the ‘backstop’ contained within the Withdrawal Agreement is a vital insurance policy which avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland.

“While it may never need to be deployed, the backstop is the guarantee in all circumstances that no hard border will be re-established on this island.

“Prime Minister Theresa May and her government in their attempts to abandon the ‘backstop’ have demonstrated an enormous act of bad faith.

“Abandoning the backstop would put at real risk the interests, rights and entitlements of the citizens, households, businesses and the Good Friday Agreement endorsed overwhelmingly in 1998.

“While Westminster has voted this week against a No Deal Brexit, it is non-legally binding, and therefore no steps have yet been taken to prevent a catastrophic crash out from the EU on 29 March.

“The EU has been crystal clear in stating that they will not reopen the negotiation on the Withdrawal Agreement, including the ‘backstop’.

“We urge the EU to remain firm in that position and call on the British Government to reconsider the reckless path that they have adopted.”

Co-signed by:

Michelle O’Neill MLA, Sinn Féin Assembly Leader & Vice-President

Colum Eastwood, Leader of the SDLP

Naomi Long MLA, Leader, Alliance Party NI

Claire Bailey MLA, Leader of the Green Party NI

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14. CL - January 31, 2019

“if ways and means can be found to regulate the movement of goods, or if it proves possible to do away with the need for such controls, this will not be the case for the movement of people. …
during the second World War….Northern Ireland travellers faced control checks if they sought to enter Britain….
this is an indication of how impracticable it was considered to seek a hard land border within the island, even though Northern Unionists resented being placed on a different footing from people in other parts of the UK….
the Common Travel Area (CTA), a term first used in 1953….
The CTA is an unusual arrangement, as may be judged by the Ireland Act passed by Westminster. Within this, “the Republic of Ireland is not a foreign country for the purposes of any law in force in any part of the United Kingdom”….
The CTA has meant that Dublin remained subservient to London in all key matters regarding immigration policy….
Brexit will give rise to a situation where the freedom of movement enshrined in European Union policy and law will no longer apply in the UK, but the CTA will remain in force….
Citizens from other EU member states will have an unimpeded right of movement to Ireland, but no right of onward travel to the UK”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/how-brexit-could-impact-on-immigration-rules-and-the-common-travel-area-1.3776100

“The problems are clear: if Ireland lets all E.U. citizens into Ireland, and the U.K. lets all Irish citizens into the U.K. but wants to control who else from the E.U. comes in, then there has to be some system at the border to figure out who is Irish and who is, say, French or Polish, or, for that matter, who might have entered Ireland with a visa from a non-E.U. country. …
The Common Travel Area…is “written in sand.” So are most things associated with Brexit.”
https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/brexit-enters-the-realm-of-science-fiction

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15. CL - February 2, 2019

“.. Conservative MPs, going by what they say, have little idea what was in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 or why it ended a savage guerrilla war in which some 3,000 people were killed….
Theresa May is cavalierly putting this hard-won peace in jeopardy because she needs the votes of the DUP,…
Conservative MPs and ministers state defiantly that Northern Ireland cannot be treated differently from the rest of the UK, as if the Good Friday Agreement and everything else to do with the country since 1920 has not treated it as a different political entity……
There has not really been a peacetime British crisis that matches up to Brexit since the 17th century”-Patrick Cockburn
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-mark-francois-history-jacob-rees-mogg-suez-second-world-war-a8758806.html

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WorldbyStorm - February 2, 2019

He’s always reliable for a solid analysis

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