Category Archives: Politics: Brexit

Brexit Follies

I dedicate this video to the British MPs who today, once again, voted against every single possible option for Brexit.

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Brexit Notes

UK’s Jonathan Pie does Brexit (content warning: contains some Anglo-Saxon mono- and poly- syllables).

Now that May’s plan has been defeated, it’s not even dead. The default remains a hard crash-out, which no one outside the Kremlin who has brain cells and lacks either a foreign home or a few million to hedge with, should want. But the option of giving up the whole thing as a bad job appears to lack a majority in Parliament, even if they could find a way to get a vote on it.

Whether there’s a vote may depend on this guy:

If there’s no majority for anything to stop the oncoming train wreck caused by invoking Article 50, that leaves muddling through, which means asking the EU for a delay, which the EU hints hard it would give but only if there’s some point to it. There won’t be an election, so that’s not the point. There might be a referendum, which would certainly be a point, but that doesn’t seem to have a majority in Parliament either.

Normally I think if something is widely understood to be colossally stupid with no upside then legislatures won’t do it. This could be one of the exceptions. (Failing to act on global warming is certainly another, although maybe the consensus isn’t quite great enough on that one.)

Note for those not following Brexit closely: Labor’s position, which amounts to “put us in charge and we’ll negotiate a better deal” is bunk. The EU isn’t going to give May or Corbin or anyone a materially better deal. And certainly not a ‘customs union’ without free movement of people. (And weird that Labor wants to privilege goods over people, eh?)

The faction that says it wants “Norway Plus” (ie modified EFTA), is at least asking for something that might be attainable–although Norway has the right to veto, and seems at present willing to do it–but it’s a very odd outcome since the UK ends up with all the things it said it didn’t want from the EU, minus the ability to influence any of the governing institutions or rules. A straight-up loss when compared to status quo ante, but I guess less a disaster than a crash-out.

The best way out would be a second referendum, but one of the few things the Tory and Labour leaders agree on is that they don’t want that. May wants the threat of a crashout to revive her deal as the lesser of two evils, thus she doesn’t want a third way. Corbin wants to force an election, and also doesn’t mind leaving the EU as he hates it, so he doesn’t want an option that takes the pressure off for an election and also creates real risk of killing off Brexit.

Which all raises the question of when the UK property crash starts, and how deep it gets. Meanwhile some Brits are stockpiling cans, and it’s hard to say they are unwise to do it…

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John Major on Brexit

Former UK PM John Major unloads on Brexit:

We know the post-Brexit world will be very different from now. It cannot be otherwise, because no form of Brexit will remotely match up to the promises made by the leave campaign in the referendum: they were vote-gathering fantasies, not serious politics.

I have no constituency vote clouding my view of Brexit. I have no ambition driving my support for it. I have no party whips demanding loyalty before conscience. I have made no false promises about Brexit that I must pretend can still be honoured, even though – in my heart – I know they cannot. I am free to say absolutely and precisely what I believe about Brexit. And it is this:

I understand the motives of those who voted to leave the European Union: it can – as I well know – be very frustrating. Nonetheless, after weighing its frustrations and opportunities, there is no doubt in my own mind that our decision is a colossal misjudgment that will diminish both the UK and the EU. It will damage our national and personal wealth, and may seriously hamper our future security. It may even, over time, break up our United Kingdom. It will most definitely limit the prospects of our young.

And – once this becomes clear – I believe those who promised what will never be delivered will have much to answer for. They persuaded a deceived population to vote to be weaker and poorer. That will never be forgotten – nor forgiven.

Yet the train rolls on.

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To All My Friends In Europe

including in the UK,


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How Come I Never Noticed This Before?

Donald Trump & Boris Johnson sure look a lot alike

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