30 comments on “As we’ve been saying

  1. The majority was established in 2016. Any deal is not leaving. Only No Deal is leaving.

  2. If they’ve all been rejected then I assume our esteemed Speaker with refuse to consider them again in this sitting of Parliament, unless they contain significant change?

  3. Can’t we just shoot them and start over again? Any new parliamentarians must have the terms and conditions explained to them by which we allow them to represent us, with heavy penalty clauses for failure.

  4. Would like to have seen a vote for current deal with the backstop taken out as if that was passed or had a slim margin would have put pressure on EU to consider a change

  5. >Would like to have seen a vote for current deal with the backstop taken out as if that was passed or had a slim margin would have put pressure on EU to consider a change

    Isn’t that basically the Malthouse compromise (which passed)?

  6. There were a couple of malthouse compromises they voted on a different one to the current deal minus backstop

  7. ‘Any new parliamentarians must have the terms and conditions explained to them by which we allow them to represent us’

    There was a Labour MP stating yesterday that even though her constituency voted Leave the majority of Labour voters in the constituency voted Remain so she saw no issue with pushing for revoking Article 50

  8. “Would like to have seen a vote for current deal with the backstop taken out as if that was passed or had a slim margin would have put pressure on EU to consider a change”
    I’ve just been listening to the latest Talking Politics and it does a very good job of disentangling what’s going on even though it was recorded before last night’s votes.

    Very briefly the WA is a backward looking agreement which is only to do with the withdrawal and legally it can’t be used to discuss the future. The political agreement isn’t really a treaty.

    This means that all Corbyn’s and other machinations and renegotiating the WA to include customs unions, single markets Norway +++ or whatever are bollocks, because they are forward looking and the EU won’t negotiate forward looking until the WA is agreed and signed.

    Fair enough, that’s the legal position but the the EU lawyer pointed out that means the backstop shouldn’t really be in the WA, May got shafted.

    If you thought it was a mess before you’ll be even more confused listening to the podcast.

    Then they start talking about the EU’s position: The EU is worried we stay in because it means if we have a skeptic PM they can wreck everything because they wouldn’t get any more Treaties or even budgets and they just about pushed as far as the can against the existing treaties. One view is that Macron doesn’t really want us in, either temporarily or even revoking A50 and has fallen out with Merkel.

    They think No Deal is more likely than most commentators think because it really boils down to No Deal or revoke A50, with May’s deal falling because the ERG and DUP won’t support it. They don’t rule out revoking, but find it hard to see how we get there. They also point out that revoking is the only unilateral position we have to avoid No Deal.

    My take for a somewhat orderly short term future we’d need May’s deal, she resigns, new Tory leader and then a GE so that parties can campaign on what they see as the future, but its hard to see the main parties agreeing a way forward so soon given how deeply split they are.

    My preference is No Deal.

  9. BniC
    Everything else would need removing from the surrender document too.

    “if that was passed or had a slim margin would have put pressure on EU to consider a change”

    Any change would be cosmetic.

  10. “Any deal is not leaving. Only No Deal is leaving.”

    Thats not strictly true. It would be perfectly possible to strike a deal that meant were leaving the CU and SM but had an immediate free trade deal that allowed things to continue smoothly, maybe with a transition period between the two. If the two side were negotiating in good faith (neither are) then such a deal would be easy to strike, its for the best for everyone. But our side don’t want us to leave at all, and their side want to punish us for having the temerity to vote to leave, so the whole thing is a clusterfuck, as evidenced by the events of the last 2 years.

  11. Excavator Man said:
    “Any deal is not leaving. Only No Deal is leaving.”

    Not quite true; a Canada deal would still be leaving.

    Basically if we’re not bound by the treaties or directives, and not part of the customs union, then we’ve left. A deal that governs UK-EU trade is still leaving, so long as it doesn’t apply to UK-only or UK-rest of world trade.

  12. Nuke might be counter-productive but a couple of conventional cruse missiles on their HQ –after dark so fairly empty- strikes me as a good idea.

  13. Maybe the way to look at it is Parliament passed an Act means UK leaves today. Since the politicians don’t seem to be able to agree about anything, they don’t actually have a mandate to do anything. The electorate has passed its opinion twice. Once at the referendum with an out vote. Once at the GE, when both of the major parties tabled a Leave manifesto. So the electorate leaves today. Fuck the politicians. They can do what ever they like.

  14. Question: Are the British people bound by a majority decision if a portion of that majority was deceived by lying politicians on what Brexit entails?

    Let me ask this another way:

    If the politicians who voted for an invasion of Iraq found out at the last minute that Saddam Hussein did not in fact have weapons of mass destruction, would they be bound to invade based on their previous vote?

    It seems to me that Mr. Worstall has never addressed that issue, neither here nor on his website. Which is why I bring it up here.

  15. I’ve never really addressed the Iraq vote anywhere because I don’t care nor think about it.

    That answers the question you’ve asked. Now to answer the one you meant to but were incapable of.

    So, you want to make a public vote invalid because politicians lie before it, do you? So Maduro should be thrown out of office because he promised prosperity, it didn’t arrive? All votes for Jezza are obviated because he said he’d wipe out student debt but then said he wouldn’t?

    Seriously, do try to at least define lie in a manner that doesn’t include electioneering.

    And to really answer your question. Are the British people bound by a majority decision if a portion of that majority was deceived by lying politicians on what the EU entails?

    What we’ve got really is rather different from what we joined in 1973, no?

  16. @ Ahmed Fares
    There was no referendum held on invading Iraq, so Tim has not addressed the question “what if the referendum on invading Iraq …?”
    The Blair government did not need HoC approval to invade Iraq so the votes were merely window-dressing and the misinformation supplied by Blair’s henchmen to people outside the government was not a material factor.
    The misinformation supplied to *Blair* by his incompetent henchmen was the cause of a disaster.
    The failure to send in a hit team (preferably chosen from among those members of the SAS with terminal cancer) forty years ago to eliminate Saddam Hussein has cost the unfortunate Iraqis untold suffering, but that is another question.

  17. The majorities that matter were the vote to hold a referendum, the referendum result, the vote to start the article 50 process and the vote to formally reject May’s Withdrawal treaty.

    3 of those were MPs voting not us. Did they not understand the questions?

  18. @john 77
    Killing Saddam would have resulted in a takeover by one of his sons (who were as bad, if not worse) or else a bloody struggle, similar to the one that followed our politically incompetent intervention.

    Unseating tyrants does not normally result in the adoption of democracy, particularly in nations with no historical experience of it. See under ‘Arab Spring’.

  19. The government spent months telling everyone before the referendum that Brexit would be bad for the U.K. and people should vote to stay to avoid disaster so I don’t get the uninformed vote issue
    The fact that they went from general gloom and doom to more specific doom and gloom doesn’t change the fact dire warnings were issued at the time

  20. @Mr. Worstall and the other readers

    Apologies if you thought this was a question about Iraq (poor writing skills on my behalf—I should have been more clear). I was just using that as an example.

    I was referring to the fact that there were numbers thrown around, actually put on the side of buses, in regards to the savings in money that could be had by Brexit and used to fund the NHS, as one example. This from an article in the Independent:

    The infamous bus promising an extra £350m a week for the NHS became a defining symbol of the Brexit referendum campaign

    This is not equivalent to what happens in a democracy where you’re stuck with who you vote for until the next election. Because that’s how democracy works. This is different.

    All my life, I was told that increasing cancer rates were a bad thing. Then Mr. Worstall informed me that rising cancer rates were a actually a good thing, on account of living long enough to get that cancer. So I changed my mind. You know, because I have that new information that I didn’t have before. (Thank you Mr. Worstall).

    It’s kind of like that. How about another referendum. If the majority still want to leave, then I wish them all the best. If not, that means they were misled. Either way, we’ll know for sure.

    As an aside, and absent a referendum, have polls been done to see where the British stand today in terms of numbers?

  21. Sure, let’s have another referendum on rejoining the EU. The precedent has been set at leaving 40 years between votes, so I’d be happy to see another referendum in 2060.

    Assuming the EU still exists by then, of course.

  22. @Ahmed
    You Remainiacs should really try to keep your arguments straight. One minute it’s that leave voters are all racist thugs, the next it’s that they were all so stupid that they made their decision solely based on a selective (but wholly accurate) number in a political slogan.

    In reality, no doubt for a tiny minority, one or other of those statements was true. Equally, many Remain voters may have been influenced by the tidal wave of propaganda coming from all directions, based on the now wholly discredited Project Fear (Mk I, we’re now on Mk XXIVc by my count).

    If we reject every democratic vote in which politicians on one side or the other quoted selectively to support their argument, then we’ve effectively abandoned democracy. Which is what Remain are doing, of course.

  23. @Chris,

    I’m Canadian so I don’t have a bias here. But we had something similar happen here when Quebec wanted to separate from the rest of Canada. They promised Quebecers something called “sovereignty association” where they would get to keep bilingualism in the rest of Canada, keep using the Canadian dollar and have a seat on the board of the Bank of Canada, etc. All of it was lies.

    When our politicians informed them that leaving meant they left with nothing, the polls quickly changed and the separation movement flipped from a majority to a minority (Quebec remains a part of Canada).

    Just to be clear, my comments are about the politics of it, not the merits of leaving or remaining in the EU. That decision is best left to the people who will be affected by it.

  24. @ Chris Miller
    Forty or forty-plus years ago his sons would not have taken over because they were still children and if Saddam had been assassinated (poetic justice for an assassin) Uday would never have been given the power to commit his atrocities. Probably a power struggle but it is practically certain whoever came out on top wouldn’t have been as nasty as Saddam.

  25. @ Ahmed Fares
    Democracy is rule by “the people” (originally that was equivalent to those liable to military service plus any survivors to old age – adult male citizens excluding slaves and foreigners) so abiding by the referendum result IS democracy. You have presumably been told that “Representative Democracy” is Democracy – sorry but that just ain’t so as you will learn if you study ancient Greece or modern Switzerland.

  26. Ahmed, the wording on the bus was never a guarantee that it would be spent on the NHS, misleading certainly but I didn’t think it would need to be explained that it was simply money that could be spent elsewhere and focusing on the exact amount was always a waste of time, does it matter that the net contribution is £175 million a week or that it’s approaching £200 million a week now (or whatever the exact figure)?

    A much better argument would have been what we get for that cost but the majority of Remainers weren’t able to make a positive case for the EU if their life depended on it.

    So why do we need another referendum? The results of the last one were never implemented despite assurances they would be and nothing has actually changed besides a group of remain politicians who have obstructed and delayed the process as much as possible saying they now don’t quite fancy it unless you’re happy to accept a deal which is designed to be intolerable for all parties.

    No one got to say hey now Labour have fucked things up with Iraq and all the lies we’ve changed our minds about the general election, let’s have a do over please?

    Yes polls have been done, the ones that got it wrong the first time are predicting a remain win (again) while the only one that was close predicts no change, which brings me back to my earlier point, what has actually changed? There’s nothing materially different, if you thought the EU was not the right organisation for the UK that hasn’t changed so it seems simply to be the hurt feelings of those who wanted remain all along.

    If we had another referendum and the result moved to remain for what reason should we accept the outcome that time and not demand another one a couple of years later because things have changed?

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